Researchers find out why overweight can cause depression Society


Excessive body weight can cause depression, researchers say, because the effects are largely psychological.

While previous studies have found that people who are overweight have a greater chance of depression, it was not clear whether this depends on depression or changes in the load.

Now, in a major study of this type, experts say that genetic variants related to BMI may lead to depression, with greater effect in women than men. Moreover, research suggests that the effect may have an effect on factors such as body image.

"People who have a higher body weight in the population are more depressed, and this is probably at least partial [a] causative effect of ITM [on] depression, "said Professor Tim Frayling, co-author of a study from the University of Exeter Medical School.

Researchers from the United Kingdom and Australia, writing in the International Journal of Epidemiology, describe how they used data from UK Biobank, a survey involving 500,000 participants from 37 to 73 years old who were employed in the 2006-2010 period.

The researchers examined 73 genetic variants associated with high BMI, which are also associated with an increased risk of disease, such as diabetes and heart disease. Also, 14 genetic variants associated with a high percentage of body fat were studied, but they were associated with a lower risk of such health problems.

The team then examined the hospital data of participants and answers from a number of questionnaires – including self-reports that anxiety or depression was observed by the GP or psychiatrist. The team identified about 49,000 participants, who were convinced that they had a depression.

In general, the group found that people with higher ITM were more depressed.

Researchers also found that the genetic predisposition to higher BMI was associated with depression, with a stronger effect in women than in men. The results were also carried out when additional tests were carried out, such as the exclusion of individuals with the history of depression in the family and when the analysis was repeated on the data of a large international project called the Consortium of Psychiatric Genomics.

With an emphasis on 73 gene variants and taking into account factors, including age and gender, it was found that for every 4.7% increase in ITM, the likelihood of depression increased by 18% in general and by 23% among women.

When the group was pooling data from different sources, 14 genetic variants that increase body fat have been identified but are not associated with a metabolic disorder associated with a greater depression.

"It suggests that the psychological component is as strong as any other physiological component, if [the latter] even there, "said Frayling, who could indicate that a poor body image would be one of the mechanisms on the pitch.

The study has some limitations: it first studied individuals with white European origin and included some self-reported data.

Although the study does not show that weight gain for other reasons would increase the risk of depression, Frayling said it was likely. "It allows [one] that greater ITM effects would have a greater impact on depression, "he said.

Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, welcomed the study. "These new findings are perhaps the strongest so far to show that higher weights can actually contribute to depression," he said. "Of course, many other factors can cause depression, but at the same time weight loss could also be beneficial to improve mental health in some individuals, while maintaining slim overall would help reduce depression."

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