Association of major depression and binge eating disorder with weight loss in a clinical setting

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavioral Medicine | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases | Psychiatry and Psychology


OBJECTIVE: Obesity has been linked to both major depressive disorder (MDD) and binge eating disorder (BED) in clinical and epidemiological studies. The present study compared weight loss among patients with and without MDD and BED who participated in a hospital-based weight loss program modeled after the Diabetes Prevention Program.

RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Of 131 obese patients who enrolled in treatment, 17% were diagnosed with MDD only, 13% were diagnosed with BED only, 17% were diagnosed with both MDD and BED, and 53% lacked either diagnosis in a pretreatment clinical interview.

RESULTS: After treatment, patients with MDD only attained 63% of the weight loss that non-depressed patients attained. Patients with BED only attained 55% of the weight loss that non-binge eaters attained. The effect of MDD on weight loss was not accounted for by the presence of BED or vice versa. Only 27% of patients with both MDD and BED achieved clinically significant weight loss compared with 67% of patients who had neither disorder. Results were not significantly altered when gender, age, and diabetes status were adjusted.

CONCLUSION: Both MDD and BED were prevalent among this obese clinical population, and each disorder was independently associated with worse outcomes. Research is needed to investigate how to increase the efficacy of behavioral weight loss programs for individuals with MDD and/or BED.


mood disorders, clinical practice, disordered eating, psychiatry, weight management program

DOI of Published Version



Pagoto S, Bodenlos JS, Kantor L, Gitkind M, Curtin C, Ma Y. Association of major depression and binge eating disorder with weight loss in a clinical setting. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Nov;15(11):2557-9. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.307. PMID: 18070746. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID