New Study Adds to Growing Evidence That Obesity Causes Depression

According to the new research done by scientists of the University of South Australia and the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, it was concluded that depression can happen when being overweight is psychologically effected even though being overweight, have not caused any health problems.


As per the studies the researches stated that “the causal relationship between obesity and depression is complex and uncertain.” although there has been a long relationship between overweight and depression. They have published their findings in the International Journal of Epidemiology and further declared that a high body mass index (BMI) can cause partial depression.

To confirm these, the researches, obtained details from the UK Biobank, a database which has an immense number of genetic information of such as 500,000 people. Out of those people, 48,000 fell to this category, of being depressed, because of overweight as identified from the hospital records and self-reports. Then they looked at 73 who are genetically different and been with a high BMI, who are diagnosed with other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. From these tests, it was concluded that the depression risk increased for the above 73 and further described by both biological and psychological mechanisms.

Furthermore, the researches grouped another 14 who are genetically different and been with a high BMI but not diagnosed with other diseases. They found that these 14 were also partially depressed and can be described by psychological mechanisms. In a statement, Elina Hypponen who is the author of this team stated that “We separated the psychological component of obesity from the impact of obesity-related health problems using genes associated with higher body mass index (BMI), but with a lower risk of diseases like diabetes,”

In this research, the team was able to “uncouple” the psychological aspects of BMI-depression relationships from physiological ones. Elina further explained that “These genes were just as strongly associated with depression as those genes associated with higher BMI and diabetes,” and confirmed that it will not be an issue having health problems or not if the person is overweight he or she will be depressed. These symptoms will have mostly on women. Very slim men are liable to suffer from depression than men with normal weight or very slim women.

But it is not an easy task. These data were taken from the people who were born between 1938 to 1971 and it cannot be revealed that the results will be the same with other people who born in other places. Also that the information gathered was not “the gold standard” as some results were taken only from individual reports.

Finally, it is understood from these results that the overweight cause depression, therefore will have to make necessary action to the public health and medical intervention planning.

Elina, in the end, stated “The current global obesity epidemic is very concerning,” and “Alongside depression, the two are estimated to cost the global community trillions of dollars each year.”

Cover image: nbcnews.com