Relationships of psychiatric disorders with overweight and obesity in an adult general population

Ulrich John*, Christian Meyer, Hans Jürgen Rumpf, Ulfert Hapke

*Corresponding author for this work
73 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To explore relationships of smoking and risk drinking status, nicotine and alcohol dependence, and anxiety, depressive, and somatoform disorders with overweight and obesity. Research Methods and Procedures: A probability sample was drawn that was representative for the adult general population, 18 to 64 years of age, in one region of Germany; the participation rate was 70.2%. After excluding those who were pregnant or had a current eating disorder according to the DSM-IV, 4063 individuals remained. Overweight and obesity were defined according to the BMI that was assessed in the face-to-face in-home standardized interview (Composite International Diagnostic Interview) on psychiatric disorders. Results: Men with a former nicotine dependence had higher odds of being overweight than men who never had a nicotine dependence (adjusted odds ratio, 1.5; confidence interval, 1.1 to 2.1). Men at current risk for drinking and current alcohol-dependent or abusing men had lower odds of being overweight compared with men who never were alcohol dependent, abusing, or at risk for drinking (adjusted odds ratio, 0.3; confidence interval, 0.8 to 0.9). Effect sizes were small. No relationship of overweight with depressive, anxiety, or somatoform disorders was found in the multivariate analysis. Discussion: There is a relationship between being overweight and nicotine and alcohol dependence or abuse among men but not among women. Even though one reason for women to refrain from quitting smoking is the fear of weight gain, these results do not support this. This information could help convince women to try to quit smoking.

Original languageEnglish
JournalObesity Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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