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The Association between Obesity and Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Disorders among University Students at Rajshahi City in Bangladesh

Author(s): Ahammad Hossain, Rejvi Ahmed Bhuiya, Mohammad Zulficar Ali

Background: Mental disorders like Depression, Anxiety, and Stress (DAS) are extremely prevalent in developed countries. DAS disorders are hypothesized to be associated with obesity, the relationship between the two conditions, however, is not conclusive. The aims of this study were to explore the association between obesity and DAS disorders among university students at Rajshahi City.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey designs were used with students from Rajshahi University (RU) and Varendra University (VU). The data were collected from 738 randomly selected students from RU and VU. DAS Scale-42 (DASS-42) items were intended to measure DAS. We conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses of obesity and DAS disorders, as well as other socio-demographic variables.

Results: An examination of cross-sectional data indicated a significant connection between obesity and stress disorders. The larger odds of obesity were found for severe and extremely severe levels of DAS disorder compared to normal and mild types.

Conclusion: Obesity appears to be positively associated with DAS disorders on a moderate level of evidence. There still remains a question concerning the role of obesity severity and DAS level. Obesity cannot be ruled out as a causal factor in DAS disorders. Further, clinical research is recommended.

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