Obesity – a phenomenon that develops throughout the world and a real public health problem – stems from changes in modern life habits. It is known that sedentary styles and various fatty and sweet foods are easily accessible, exposing people to increasingly dangerous choices. But there are more factors involved which should not be ignored.
When a person is declared obese (having a body mass index or BMI of more than 30 kg / m²) certainly brings a psychological component that causes the situation, but in turn, obesity causes new problems, such as depression.
New research conducted jointly by the University of South Australia and the University of Exeter in the UK found the strongest evidence that obesity causes depression, even without other health problems, and affects more. for woman.
The study, recently published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, shows the psychological impact of being overweight: it causes more depression than related diseases, such as diabetes. This will explain why many people fail to lose weight, because they ignore the inherent psychological problems.
Two problems that go hand in hand
"The current global obesity epidemic is very worrying," said Elina Hypponen, director of the Australian Health Center, which led the study. Along with depression, it is estimated that both problems cost billions of billions of global dollars every year, he added.
"Our research shows that being overweight not only increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, it can also cause depression," Hypponen said in a statement quoted by special reporter Inés González, and published by HolaDoctor.
Why does depression associated with obesity affect more women? "Women are subject to more social pressure than men, and society – and lately the emergence of social networks – imposes body models that are often unreal, and feminine parameters of beauty are more stringent than masculine" said psychologist María Laura Santellán, from the Open University Interamericana (UAI), in Argentina, and a specialist in eating disorders.
Worldwide, women are very dissatisfied with their bodies (even in Eastern cultures), which sometimes causes eating because of sadness and falls into obesity, which leads to depression, spirals that are complicated to solve, show experts
For Santellán, the approach to treating someone with obesity must be interdisciplinary, where the therapist and nutritionist work together in a mixed approach.
The researchers analyzed data from the UK Biobank in more than 48,000 people with depression, and compared it with a control group of more than 290,000 people who provided medical and genetic information. The data is used to determine whether people are depressed.
"We separate the psychological component of obesity from the impact of health problems associated with it, using genes associated with a higher body mass index (BMI), but with a lower risk of disease such as diabetes," Hypponen said. .
"This gene is strongly associated with depression as a gene associated with higher BMI and diabetes, indicating that being overweight causes depression with and without related health problems, especially in women," he concluded.