Health psychology and weight loss: two new studies with important outcomes

Two studies provide guidance about lifestyle changes that health care psychologists can recommend to people trying to lose weight.  This information may help health care psychologists partner with primary medical providers and weight loss programs to help people who are struggling with excessive weight and need to make behavioral changes to promote weight loss and to improve their health behaviors.

Study: overweight kids have increased (4X) (!) risk of depression as adults

Being overweight in childhood may heighten lifetime risk of depression, posted 5-18-17.  Children who are overweight, as defined by a BMI between 25 and 29.9 (not “obese”) at age 8 or 13 years were found to have more than a 4-times increase in risk of lifetime MDD in comparison to children who were normal weight who went on to become overweight as adults.

Study Supports Weight Loss Surgery for People with Mental Illness

From, Mental health does not affect weight loss after bariatric surgery, posted on 5-2-17.  This article reviews a study that found good outcomes for weight loss for bariatric patients with mental illness, for a population that had psychological screening prior to surgery, results support the benefits of psychological screening.

JAMA report: bad news for use of activity trackers for weight loss programs

The Sept. 20, 2016 issue of JAMA includes, “Effect of Wearable Technology Combined With a Lifestyle Intervention on Long-term Weight Loss; The IDEA Randomized Clinical Trial.” This study compared weight loss programs using a standard protocol and an enhanced protocol using an activity tracker.  To cut to the chase, the authors conclude: Among young adults with a BMI between 25 and less than 40, the addition of a wearable technology device to a standard behavioral intervention resulted in less weight loss over 24 months. Devices that monitor and provide feedback on physical activity may not offer an advantage over standard behavioral weight