Background Overweight, obesity is rapidly increasing among children in United Arab Emirates (UAE). This study aimed to determine the prevalence of depression and its relation with obesity in adolescents.
Methods The study sample included 1018 adolescents (12–18 years) from a random sample of 8 schools out of 114 schools in Al Ain district of Abu Dhabi Emirate in UAE. We estimated self-reported symptoms of depression using the Arabic Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI). BMI >=85th and ≥95th percentiles were used to define overweight and obesity according to the 2000 CDC growth charts.
Results The prevalence of depression according to the BDI (cut-offpoint:19) was 10.7%. Girls were more likely (OR=3.97, 95%CI: 1.11–14.23) to have depression (12.2%) compared to boys (7.0%). A high proportion of adolescents (33.8%) were overweight and obese. There was a significant (p=0.047) correlation between overweight and obesity and depression after adjustment for gender, age, ethnicity and income level.
Conclusion There is disparity in prevalence of depression by gender. There is significant correlation between overweight, obesity and depression irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity and income.