Overweight and obese people may be at greater risk of depression, even if there are no other health problems, it draws attention to new research.
A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology has shown that the psychological impact of overweight causes depression, rather than related diseases such as diabetes.
"Our research suggests that overweight does not only increase the chances of chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, but it can also cause depression," said study co-author Elina Hypponen, a professor at the University of South Australia.
In the study, researchers studied the United Kingdom's Biobank data from more than 48,000 people with depression and compared them with a control group of more than 290,000 people born between 1938 and 1971, who provided medical and genetic information.
Hospital data and self-reporting have been used to determine whether people have had depression.
The team used a genetic research approach to investigate the causal relationship between the two conditions.
From the psychological component of obesity, they were separated from the influence of health problems associated with obesity, using genes associated with a higher body infarct but with a lower risk of illnesses such as diabetes.
"These genes were also strongly linked to depression and those genes associated with higher BMI and diabetes, which suggests that overweight causes depression both with and without health problems, especially in women," said Hypponen .
"Our robust genetic analysis concludes that the psychological effect of obesity can lead to depression. It is important to help reduce depression, which allows people to adopt healthy lifestyles," said Jess Tyrrell of the Exeter Medical School in the UK.