Correlation between Overweight and Mental Health in Adolescents: A Meta Analysis


  • Riski Anisa Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret
  • Yulia Lanti Retno Dewi Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sebelas Maret
  • Hanung Prasetya Study Program of Accupuncture, Health Polytechnics, Ministry of Health Surakarta



Background: Adolescence is a critical period in human life because of the various changes that occur during this stage of life. Overweight and obesity in adolescents is a major public health problem in all developing countries, in addition to affecting physical health, can have a negative impact on mental health. This study aims to analyze the primary study of the effect of being overweight and obese on mental health in adolescents with a meta-analysis.
Subjects and Method: This study is a meta-analysis with the following PICO, Population: teenagers. Intervention: overweight and obese. Comparison: normal weight. Outcome: mental health. The articles used in this study were obtained from three databases, namely Google Scholar, Pubmed, and Science Direct. Keywords to search for articles [(adolescent OR teenager OR children) AND (“body mass index” OR BMI OR overweight OR obesity) AND (depression OR “depression symptom”) AND (anxiety OR “anxiety symptom”)]. The included articles are full text in English in 2010 to 2022 with cohort study design and report on aOR in multivariate analysis. The selection of articles is done by using PRISMA flow diagram. Articles were analyzed using the Review Manager 5.3 application.
Results: Nine studies were included in this study, six studies from the Americas, two studies from the European continent, and one study from the Australian continent. The data collected showed an increased risk for depression and anxiety in adolescents who were overweight and obese than adolescents who had normal weight. Obese adolescents had a higher risk of depression (aOR= 1.64; 95% CI= 1.42 to 1.90; p<0.001) than overweight adolescents (aOR= 1.09; 95% CI= 1.00 to 1.18; p= 0.050). Adolescents who were obese had a higher risk of anxiety (aOR= 1.27; 95% CI= 1.08 to 1.49; p= 0.003) than adolescents who were overweight (aOR= 1.10; 95% CI= 1.01 to 1.19; p= 0.020).
Conclusion: Overweight and obesity can have an influence on the mental health of adolescents.

Keywords: adolescent, overweight, obese, depression, anxiety, meta-analysis.

Riski Anisa. Masters Program in Public Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret. Jl. Ir. Sutami 36A, Surakarta 57126, Central Java, Indonesia. Email: Mobile: +6285749027212.


Álvarez-García D, Núñez A, Pérez-Fuentes M DC, Núñez JC (2020). Peer victimization in overweight adolescents and its effect on their self-esteem and peer difficulties. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 17(1): 16. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17010016

Assari S (2014). The link between mental health and obesity: Role of individual and contextual factors. Int. J. Prev. Med. 5(9): 247.

Chao AM, Wadden TA, Berkowitz RI (2020). Obesity in adolescents with psychiatric disorders. HHS Publis Access. 21(1): 3. doi: 10.1007/s11920-019-0990-7.

Huet L, Delgado I, Aouizerate B, Castanon N, Capuron L (2019). Obesity and depression: Shared pathophysiology and translational implications. Elsevier Inc. doi: 10.1016/B978-012-813333-0.00016-0

Kubzansky LD, Gilthorpe MS, Goodman E (2012). A prospective study of psychological distress and weight status in adolescents/young adults. Ann. Behav. Med. 43(2): 219–228. doi: 10.-1007/s12160-011-9323-8

Mannan M, Mamun A, Doi S, Clavarino A (2016). Prospective associations between depression and obesity for adolescent males and females - A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. PLoS ONE. 11(6): 1–18. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157240

Moradi M, Mozaffari H, Askari M, Azadbakht L (2021). Association between overweight/obesity with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 62 (2): 555–570. doi: 10.1080/10408398.20-20.1823813

Nebhinani N, Jain S (2019). Adolescent mental health: Issues, challenges, and solutions. Ann. Indian Psychiatry.3(1): 4. doi: 10.4103/aip.ai_24_19

Rao WW, Zong QQ, Zhang JW, An FR, Jackson T, Ungvari GS, Xiang Y, et al. (2020a). Obesity increases the risk of depression in children and adolescents: results from a systematic review and meta-analysis. J. Affect. Di-sord. 267(12): 78–85. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.01.154

Sanders RH, Han A, Baker JS, Cobley S (2015). Childhood obesity and its physical and psychological comorbidities: a systematic review of Australian children and adolescents. Eur. J. Pediatr. doi: 10.1007/s00431-015-25-51-3

Sanyaolu A, Okorie C, Qi X, Locke J, Rehman S (2019). Childhood and adolescent obesity in the United States: a public health concern. Glob. Pediatr. Heal. 6. doi: 10.1177/2333794X19891305

Sutaria S, Devakumar D, Yasuda SS, Das S, Saxena S (2019). Is obesity associated with depression in children? Systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch. Dis. Child. 104(1): 64–74. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2017-314608

UNICEF (2022). Indonesia: Angka orang yang kelebihan berat badan dan obesitas naik di semua kelompok usia dan pendapatan (Indonesia: Over-weight and obesity rates are rising across all age and income groups). United Nations Children's Fund. Retrieved from

Van CL, Wachter GG, Veenstra R, Rijnhart JJM, Van MF, Chinapaw MJM, Busch V (2019). Associations between over-weight and mental health problems among adolescents, and the mediating role of victimization. BMC Public Health. 19(1): 1–10. doi: 10.1186/s12-889-019-6832-z

Wang S, Sun Q, Zhai L, Bai Y, Wei W, Jia L (2019). The prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms among over-weight/obese and non-overweight/ non-obese children/adolescents in China: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 16(3). doi: 10.3390/ijerph16030340

WHO (2021a). Adolescent mental health. World Health Organization. Retrieved from:

WHO (2021b). Obesity and overweight. World Health Organization. Retrieved from:

WHO (2022). Adolescent health. World Health Organization. Retrieved from




How to Cite

Anisa, R., Dewi, Y. L. R., & Prasetya, H. (2022). Correlation between Overweight and Mental Health in Adolescents: A Meta Analysis. Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health, 7(4), 535–551.




Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 > >>