Thursday, August 03, 2006

Obesity and Depression

A new research study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry reveals that an obese person is twenty five percent more likely to have depression or anxiety than a non-obese person. It is also said that the likelihood may be as high as forty four percent among educated Caucasian Americans. The study did not show whether obesity leads to depression or vice versa, but it shows with certainty that the association works in both directions. Researchers also found that an obese person has a twenty five percent higher risk factor of having a substance abuse disorder sometime in their life. The study shows the importance of finding a connection between the two because it is so common and it has a significant impact on health care systems. They reported that the average American has a thirty percent chance of being obese. And twenty percent of Americans are diagnosed sometime in their lives with depression. The Harvard Medical School study is based on an in-person survey among 9,125 adults. This is the largest and most representative study of the two problems in the U.S. population. This study also linked the problem in both genders. They also believe that stigma accounts for some of the relationship due to the fact that in groups were obesity is less socially normal, there's a greater association with depression and vice versa.

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