The association between overall and abdominal adiposity and depressive mood: A cross-sectional analysis in 6459 participants

Tahani Alshehri, Sebastiaan Boone, Renée de Mutsert, Brenda Penninx, Frits Rosendaal, Saskia le Cessie, Yuri Milaneschi, Dennis Mook-Kanamori

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We aimed to evaluate the association between measures of adiposity with depressive mood and specific depressive symptoms. Methods: This study was performed in the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study, a population-based study that consists of 6671 middle-aged individuals. We examined the association between measures of overall adiposity (BMI and total body fat), and abdominal adiposity (waist circumference and visceral adipose tissue), with depressive mood severity subgroups and 30 depressive symptoms. Multinomial logistic regression was performed adjusting for potential confounding. Results: Measures of adiposity were associated with depressive mood in a graded fashion. Total body fat showed the strongest association with mild (Odds Ratio (OR): 1.59 per standard deviation, 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI): 1.41–1.80) and moderate to very severe (OR: 1.97, 95% CI: 1.59–2.44) depressive mood. Regarding individual symptoms of depressive mood, total body fat was associated with most depressive symptoms (strongest associations for hyperphagia and fatigability). Conclusions: In the general population, overall and abdominal adiposity measures were associated with depressive mood. This association encompasses most of the depressive symptoms and appeared to be the strongest with specific ‘’atypical’’ neurovegetative symptoms, which may be an indication of an alteration in the energy homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104429
Number of pages8
Early online date1 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Abdominal fat
  • Body fat distribution
  • Body mass index
  • Depression
  • Depressive disorder
  • Obesity

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