Depression and body image disturbances among females seeking treatment for obesity in Saudi Arabia


  • Moataz M. Abdel-Fattah
  • Abdel-Rahman A. Asal
  • Tamer Hifnawy
  • Mohamed M. Makhlouf


Hypothesis: Obesity is an increasingly prevalent disease around the world and is becoming one of the main public health problems in developed countries. The relationship between obesity and psychological distress continued to be debated by researchers and clinicians. This study aimed to assess depression and body image disturbances in obese patients seeking treatment for obesity.
Method: A case-control design was adopted in the study. Total of (236) obese women, self-referred to a residential weight-loss facility for weight control, were invited to participate in this study. Obese women were compared with (296) of an age-matched control group. All participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory for depressive symptoms, Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire for body-image satisfaction and The Body Image Avoidance Questionnaire.
Results: revealed that obesity were more common among older than younger females, among married than single females, and among those with lower level of education than those with higher level. Obese women as compared with non-obese reported significantly more symptoms of depression and significantly more negative body image.
Conclusions and significance: Our results indicate a high frequency of depressive symptoms, and concern with body image among obese patients. Therefore, obese women who seek treatment should be screened for depression and body image dissatisfaction.