Prevalence of depressive symptoms in overweight and obese children and adolescents in mainland China: A meta-analysis of comparative studies and epidemiological surveys

Wen Wang Rao, Ji Wen Zhang, Qian Qian Zong, Feng Rong An, Gabor S. Ungvari, Lloyd Balbuena, Fang Yu Yang, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Obesity is associated with a higher risk of depression in children and adolescents. This is a meta-analysis of studies examining depressive symptoms in overweight and obese children and adolescents in China. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed independently in both English (PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science and Medline Complete) and Chinese (China National Knowledge Internet, WANFANG Data and WeiPu VIP) databases from their commencement date to December 31, 2018. The pooled prevalence of depressive symptoms was calculated using a random-effects model. Data analyses were performed with STATA Version 12.0, R Version 3.3.0 and R Studio Version 0.99.903. Results: Twenty-two epidemiological and 18 comparative studies were included in the meta-analysis. The overall prevalence of depressive symptoms was 24.02% (95% CI: 15.92%–33.16%) in obese children and adolescents and 22.61% (95% CI: 14.87%–31.34%) in overweigh children and adolescents. Obese children and adolescents were more likely to suffer from depressive symptoms (OR = 1.877, 95% CI: 1.459–2.415, P < 0.001) than their non-obese counterparts. The use of different screening scales for depressive symptoms was significantly associated with the prevalence of depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Depressive symptoms are common in overweight and obese children and adolescents in China. Obese, but not overweight children and adolescents had higher risk of depressive symptoms. In order to lessen the risk of depressive symptoms, regular screening and effective interventions should be implemented to reduce obesity and overweight in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume250
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

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