Obesity and Sedentary Lifestyle as Predictors of Anxiety and Depression
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There is a high prevalence of psychological distress and obesity with subsequent chronic disease in the United States. The aim of this study was to explore the relationships among obesity, physical activity, and health status and to determine predictors of psychological distress among adults in a community setting. A cross-sectional study using a web-based survey was conducted among 226 adults aged 18 years or older. The questionnaire was a self-report tool utilizing the four items from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 14-items Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, International Physical Activity Questionnaire- SF, and demographic data. Descriptive statistics, Kendall’s Tau test, and multivariate logistic regression procedures were performed. Two-thirds of participants were either overweight or obese, and one-fifth reported poor or fair health status. Positive predictors of anxiety and depression were sedentary lifestyle or sitting more than 360 minutes per day (OR=2.21 vs OR=2.11, respectively), obesity (OR=1.96 vs OR=2.50) and Caucasian ethnicity (OR=3.41 vs OR=3.99). The odds of anxiety and depression were nearly double for those who are sedentary or obese. Providers could encourage maintaining a healthy weight and sitting less than six hours per day. Periodic screening for psychological distress may be beneficial.