Being Overweight Causes Depression, Especially in Women

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Results of a large study conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom and Australia suggest there’s a causal link between being overweight and being depressed, even in people without additional health problems, and this link is stronger in women than in men. While previous research has shown that depression is more common in people who are overweight or obese, this study is the first to suggest that a higher body mass index (BMI) itself causes depression.

The researchers used data from the UK Biobank on people born between 1938 and 1971 — about 48,000 with depression and 290,000 controls without depression, comparing medical and genetic information to explore the link between obesity and depression.

According to the researchers, genes associated with a higher BMI but a lower risk of obesity-related conditions like diabetes were as strongly linked to depression as genes associated with higher BMI and a higher risk for conditions like diabetes. This is what indicates that a high BMI causes depression in people regardless of whether they have obesity related health problems.

Sourced from: International Journal of Epidemiology