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Minerva Psichiatrica 2019 June;60(2):69-74

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1772.19.02011-9

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Is there a link between BMI and depressive symptomatology, risky consumption of alcohol and anxious symptomatology? Study in a sample of university students

Omar E. SANTANGELO, Sandro PROVENZANO , Francesco ARMETTA, Domiziana GIORDANO, Enrico ALAGNA, Alberto FIRENZE

Department of Health Sciences and Maternal-Infant Medicine “G. D’Alessandro”, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy



BACKGROUND: One of the often-underestimated aspects of obesity is the psychological one. In particular, there is a growing attention to the correlation between obesity and depression among students from all over the world. And also towards the correlation between alcohol abuse and mood disorders. The objective of the study was to examine if the depressive symptomatology, risk of consumption of alcohol and anxiety symptomatology are correlated with obesity/overweight in a sample of students of the University of Palermo, Italy.
METHODS: The study was a cross-sectional study. A questionnaire is structured in four sections. An anonymous online survey was sent to a random students sample enrolled in the mailing list of the Regional Authority for the Right to University Study (ERSU) of the University of Palermo, who signed an informed consent. Results are expressed as adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR) with 95% Confidence Intervals (95% CI). P value <0.05 were statistically significant.
RESULTS: Characteristics of the sample: 1102 subjects completed the questionnaire. The mean age of the sample is 22.09 years (SD±3.28), 68.60% of the interviewees are female, 19.06% of the interviewees are overweight or obese. aOR is considered as a dependent variable: “Body Mass Index: Overweight-obesity;” the statistically significant independent variables associated are “males” (aOR 2.05). It increases by 8% at each year of age (aOR 1.08), mild (aOR 1.82) and moderate (aOR 2.86) and severe (aOR 2.95) depressive symptomatology.
CONCLUSIONS: Male students have a higher probability of being overweight/obese. Overweight/obese people have a higher risk of having severe depressive symptoms. Active interventions of public health planning and implementation of structural and organizational measures would be highly effective for the promotion of correct lifestyles and adequate psychological support.


KEY WORDS: Obesity; Body weight; Students; Depression; Anxiety

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