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May 9, 2024 · By Dr. Tim Church, MD, MPH, PHD, Wondr Chief Medical Officer

Entering an era of breakthrough results for obesity and depression 

Mental health Obesity Weight-loss medication

May is World Mental Health Awareness month: Read as Dr. Tim Church, MD, MPH, PHD, Wondr Health Chief Medical Officer uncovers the impact of GLP-1s on the bi-directional relationship between obesity and depression

As May is World Mental Health Awareness Month, many of us in the medical profession take the time to reflect on the impact of mental health in our communities and organizations.  

It’s no secret that depression is a common disorder that affects mental health, but its bidirectional relationship with obesity often goes unrecognized. Studies demonstrate that individuals with obesity have a 55% elevated risk of developing depression, while those with depression have a 58% higher risk of developing obesity. 

The recent surge in the use of GLP-1s for obesity leads to the question—can GLP-1s be effective for individuals who are also being clinically treated for depression? 

A recent study found that the use of GLP-1s provided clinically meaningful weight loss, regardless of baseline anti-depressant use.  

So, what does this mean?  

Whether or not an individual is taking an anti-depressant, they can still lose weight with GLP-1s. 

This breakthrough is crucial, as weight gain is one of the most common side effects of anti-depressants. Previously, it was unclear whether GLP-1s were as effective for those using anti-depressants. And given the bidirectional relationship between obesity and depression, the use of GLP-1s poses intriguing potential to address this cycle. 

As we reflect on the relationship between obesity, depression, and the impact of GLP-1s, it’s obvious patient care must also evolve. Personalized care and integrated treatment will go a long way to simultaneously address multiple conditions that lead to costly chronic conditions. 

Navigating weight-loss medications and managing obesity can be overwhelming for many organizations. Wondr Health’s solution, Wondr Advanced, prioritizes safety and effectiveness by utilizing board-certified obesity experts, personalized medicine, and a proven behavior-change program to achieve positive clinical results and reduce costs. Learn how Wondr Advanced can improve the health of your population today.   

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