London, November 13 (IANS): Excessive weight and obese people may increase the risk of depression, even in the absence of other health problems, warns of new research.
The study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, showed that the psychological impact of overweight causes depression, and not related diseases such as diabetes.
"Our research shows that overweight not only increases the risk of chronic illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, it can also lead to depression," said Elina Hipponen, a study co-author at the University of South Australia.
For the study, researchers looked at UK Biobank data from more than 48,000 people with depression, comparing them to a control group of more than 290,000 people born between 1938 and 1971, providing medical and genetic information.
Hospital data and self-diagnosis were used to determine whether people had depression.
The team used a genetic research approach to investigate the causal link between these two states.
They have separated the psychological component of obesity from the impact of health problems with obesity, using genes associated with a higher ITM, but lowering the risk of illnesses such as diabetes.
"These genes were so strongly associated with depression as those genes associated with higher BMI and diabetes, indicating that overweight causes depression and with and without related health problems – especially in women," said Hipponen.
"Our robust genetic analysis concludes that the psychological impact of obesity would probably cause depression. This is important to help guide the effort to reduce depression, making it more difficult for people to adopt a healthy lifestyle," said Jess Tirrell of Eketer Medical School in Britain.