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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00852

Perceived stress mediates the relationship of body image and depressive symptoms in individuals with obesity

 Katrin Ziser1*, Carina Finklenburg1,  Simone C. Moelbert1,  Katrin E. Giel1, Sandra Becker1, Eva-Maria Skoda2,  Martin Teufel2, Isabelle Mack1,  Stephan Zipfel1 and  Florian Junne1
  • 1Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Hospital Tübingen, Germany
  • 2Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, LVR Hospital Essen, Germany

Obesity is a world-wide increasing condition classified by a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 that is frequently accompanied by various somatic comorbidities as well as an increased risk for mental comorbidities. Studies show associations of obesity with symptoms of depression, lower quality of life and higher (perceived) stress compared to the general population. Body image has also been shown to play an important role in eating and weight disorders. The present study therefore aims to contribute to the understanding of the relationship of body image, perceived stress and symptoms of depression in a morbidly obese population. N = 579 individuals with obesity were included upon presentation at a university clinic. The hypothesized mediating role of perceived stress in the relationship of body image dimensions and symptoms of depression could be confirmed. The results underline the importance of identifying promising stress management techniques and addressing perceived stress e.g. through mindfulness based approaches in the (lifestyle and/or weight) interventions for obesity taking into account the specific stressors of obesity affected individuals such as body image.

Keywords: Obesity, body image, Mediation, depressive symptoms, Cross-sectional

Received: 15 Jul 2019; Accepted: 30 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Ziser, Finklenburg, Moelbert, Giel, Becker, Skoda, Teufel, Mack, Zipfel and Junne. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Katrin Ziser, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, 72076, Baden-Württemberg, Germany,