Are Morbid Obesity and Insomnia Related? Investigating Associated Factors in a Clinical Setting

  • Mariëtte van Buuren
  • Chris Hinnen


Disturbed sleep and (morbid) obesity are increasing health problems in industrial societies and play an important role in chronic illnesses. Conclusive evidence about their relationship is lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between insomnia and obesity and if common associated factors such as psychological distress, self-control, attachment insecurity, and socioeconomic status are present to the same extent in both patient groups. The sample consisted of 177 patients referred to the Medical Psychology department of a general hospital (92 with morbid obesity and 85 with insomnia). Measures used were PSQI, HADS, BSCS, PSWQ, DERS, and ECR-M16. Results showed that morbid obesity and insomnia are largely unrelated health risks, with little overlap in associated factors and divided mainly by SES. This indicates that condition-oriented interventions rather than transdiagnostic interventions are likely to be more effective and that different population groups (high vs low SES) may benefit from different approaches.


Morbid obesity Insomnia Relationship Associated factors 



The authors earnestly thank the colleagues of the Department of Medical Psychology, as well as Z. Boonstra, psychology student who helped with collecting the data and SPSS and S.F. Fischer, head of the Department of Medical Psychology in Slotervaart Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Mariëtte van Buuren and Chris Hinnen declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures for this cross-sectional comparative study were reviewed and approved by the accredited Ethics Committee (MREC) Slotervaart Hospital and Reade, based on the Dutch Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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  2. The Netherlands Institute for Social Research is a government agency which conducts research into the social aspects of all areas of government policy. The status scores were downloaded on 9-2-2018 and the most up to date scores were used.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariëtte van Buuren
    • 1
    • 3
  • Chris Hinnen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical PsychologySlotervaart Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Oncology CenterLeids Universitair Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Altrecht Mental Health CareUtrechtThe Netherlands

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