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Bipolar Disorder & Weight

(BP magazine Fall 2011, www.bphope.com)

Carrying extra pounds isn’t just an unwelcome byproduct of bipolar disorder. Earlier this year, researchers looking at obesity in North America estimated that one in three Americans and one in four Canadians has a body mass index higher than 30 (the baseline for obesity) .

Still, shifting moods and psychiatric medications create additional challenges to maintaining a healthy weight. That’s why we turned to our readers and asked: What tricks and techniques help you eat better?

Many of you noted that along with a well-balanced diet, exercise is also an important part of weight control—and an overall healthy lifestyle. Having a healthy lifestyle, meanwhile, is a vital complement to medication in maintaining mood stability.

The reverse is also true: Getting moods under control through treatment may be a prerequisite to getting eating under control. Like many who wrote in, Jo S. of Milwaukee identifies depressive symptoms as her biggest barrier to weight loss. According to Jo, “Making progress in all areas of my life and not listening to the negative thinking will be my biggest diet pill.”

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