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HHS HealthBeat (May 14, 2013)

Mental illness and weight loss


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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates people with serious mental illness can lose weight – with help.

Many antipsychotic medications have weight gain and an increased appetite as side effects. This makes it difficult for people with serious mental illness to maintain a healthy weight. But the study found that people with illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression benefited from a weight loss program.

Dr. Gail Daumit of Johns Hopkins:

“We had significant weight loss in the intervention group as compared to the control group – seven pounds – which is really consistent with many of the other weight loss trials in the general population.”

Participants lost weight regardless of the medications they were taking.

The study in the New England Journal of Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 14, 2013