• Vol. 39 No. 10, 778–782
  • 15 October 2010

Psychological Symptoms in People Presenting for Weight Management



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Introduction: Elevated levels of psychopathology have been described in various groups of obese patients. This study aimed to describe the presence of depressive and binge eating symptoms in patients presented for clinical weight management at a general hospital in Singapore, as well as their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Correlations between these symptoms and other demographic and clinical variables were also sought.

Materials and Methods: Patients presented at a clinical weight management programme were asked to complete the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Binge Eating Scale (BES) and the Short Form-36 (SF-36). Clinical and demographic data were also collected.

Results: Of the group, 17.1% reported moderate or severe binge eating symptoms and 9.7% reported moderate or severe depressive symptoms. HRQOL, mostly in physical health domains, was lower in this sample compared to local norms. Within the group, binge eating and depressive symptoms, but not increasing obesity, predicted poorer HRQOL.

Conclusions: Psychological symptoms are significantly present in patients presented for clinical weight management and these contribute to poorer quality of life. Addressing these symptoms will improve the overall well-beings of these patients and the total benefits gained will exceed the benefits of weight loss per se.

Multiple factors contribute to the genesis and maintenance of obesity which is a difficult condition to treat and weight loss is often not maintained. The psychological problems found in obese patients have recently received increasing attention.

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