Obesity, Depression, and How Weight-Loss Surgery Can Help

Two of the largest healthcare concerns in the United States are obesity and depression; together they account for over 350 billion dollars in direct costs every single year. Both conditions affect millions of Americans on a daily basis…but how do they affect each other?

In many cases, obesity and depression go hand in hand, but there is good news: if you’re struggling, you are not alone! There’s a potential solution that offers benefits to mental, physical, and emotional health that no other option can: weight-loss surgery.

Obesity: Facts and Figures

According to the latest data from the CDC, 93.3 million adults across the country suffer from obesity, accounting for a prevalence of 39.8%.

What causes obesity varies from person to person; there are many reasons that people struggle with their weight. Among the most common are physical inactivity, overeating, genetics, and even side effects from certain medications.

Likewise, the effects of obesity on the body vary in individual cases with problems starting at a BMI of 25, increasing in severity as this number climbs. Medical professionals recognize four different categories of risk concerning overweight and obesity:

  • Overweight — BMI of 25 to 29.9
  • Class 1 (low-risk) Obesity — BMI of 30 to 34.9
  • Class 2 (moderate-risk) Obesity — BMI of 35 to 39.9
  • Class 3 (high-risk) Obesity — BMI of 40 or higher

The designations are important for people to know because obesity affects the body as a whole, from intestinal wellness to joint strength to heart health to general, overall quality of life. Obesity also comes with a risk of developing a number of comorbid conditions, including:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Liver Disease
  • Heart Disease

Obesity, Self-Esteem, and Depression

Results from a variety of studies have noted not only the close correlation between obesity, self-esteem, and depression, but the ways in which they can feed into one another. In fact, the CDC states that roughly 43% of people with depression also suffer from obesity. In addition, a JAMA study found that people with obesity are 55% more likely to be depressed, and people with depression are 58% more likely to develop obesity.

Disordered eating can also be connected with these conditions; as with any other addiction, many people use food to cope with difficult and overwhelming feelings. Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is actually the most common type of eating disorder, though the Obesity Action Coalition reports that until recently, it wasn’t commonly discussed, adding that associated “…weight bias, weight stigma and size discrimination happen in all areas of life.”

Even in individuals who are not predisposed to depression through their environment, relationships, or genetics, the stigma surrounding obesity can be a major factor in the life of a person suffering from obesity or overweight. The stigma can then further push a person into both their depression and their overweight, leading to a vicious cycle in which the body’s natural reaction is to keep weight on.

How Weight-Loss Surgery Can Help

So, what’s the good news? If you ask us, it’s that no one has to go through this alone—and in many cases, weight-loss surgery is a long-term solution for living a healthier, more comfortable life.

In a recent study from the University of Virgina, bariatric surgery:

  • slashed participants’ weight by a third
  • improved patients’ physical quality of life
  • improved their insulin levels
  • Improved ability to use glucose

Weight-Loss surgery can not only reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but improve and even resolve the condition in diabetic patients!

Benefits differ from person to person and procedure to procedure, but patients who choose a surgery like the vertical sleeve gastrectomy tend to lose 50 to 70% of their excess weight. Other benefits include reduced joint pain, resolution of sleep apnea and COPD, improved heart health, better moods, and an overall increase in quality of life.

Depression and obesity don’t always go together, and curing one does not always mean curing the other, but we can be certain of one thing: bariatric surgery has helped patients completely change their lives, and we are dedicated to helping them every step of the way, from our surgeons to our dieticians to our psychologists.

Don’t wait to live better; get started today!


When it’s time to start a successful weight-loss journey, it’s time to call NYBG! We’re the best practice around and our numbers prove it:

  • 14 skilled surgeons who are leaders in bariatrics
  • 15,000 successful procedures performed with more every day
  • The #1 gastric balloon practice by volume – most balloons placed in the United States
  • 24/7 access to online seminars
  • 100s of videos for patients explaining procedures, answering common questions, and showcasing previous patients
  • Multiple offices located in three states; NY, NJ, CT
  • Since 2000, we boast 19 years of success!

Our commitment to patient success and excellence has earned us accreditation from the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This prestigious achievement recognizes only the top bariatric practices. Stop waiting; start achieving better health today.


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Obesity, Depression, and How Weight-Loss Surgery Can Help


Lost 145lbs

Thomas' success story

I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man.

Everybody treated me like a king. The day of surgery, I was excited. The hospital couldn’t be any nicer. I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man. My recovery was awesome. I was out of bed that day. My wife and kids were my motivation on getting this surgery. They are my whole life. I’m happy I’m going to be around for them.

Listen to Thomas’ testimo