Association between obesity and depressive symptoms among U.S. Military active duty service personnel, 2002

Amii M. Kress, Michael R. Peterson, Michael C. Hartzell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: The association between obesity and depression remains equivocal. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence and association of obesity and depressive symptoms among military personnel. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was performed using data (N=10,040) from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Survey of Health-Related Behaviors. Prevalence odds ratios were calculated to describe the association between obesity and depressive symptoms. Results: Approximately 10% of active duty men and 4% of active duty women were obese. The prevalence of depressive symptoms ranged from approximately 16% of overweight men to 49% of obese women. Obese men and women and underweight men had increased odds of depressive symptoms as compared with normal-weight individuals. Conclusions: The DoD should emphasize prevention and regular screening for obesity and depressive symptoms to improve readiness and reduce health care costs and disease burden in this cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-271
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Burnam Screen
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Survey of Health-Related Behaviors
  • U.S. Military active duty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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