Mental Health America: Children's Mental Health: Resource List
MHA staff recently conducted a review of the literature related to obesity and mental illness, synthesizing the existing research. The review focused primarily on issues related to adults but also included a brief description of childhood obesity issues. Special concerns related to individuals with serious mental illnesses were a primary focus of the review. There is an especially high prevalence of obesity among those with serious mental illnesses, which is related to excess morbidity and mortality in this population. Side effects from psychiatric medications are a major contributing factor to weight gain and obesity in this population. Treatment interventions were found to fall into one of three categories; behavioral (lifestyle change), surgery, and pharmacological.