A new study shows that a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 is associated with an increased risk of depression.
A team from the University of South Australia and the University of Exeter (UK) studied the case of more than 48,000 people suffering from depression and belonging to the British cohort Biobank. This large long-term study provides access to genomic data for British residents aged 37-73 years.
The researchers also formed a control group of 290,000 people born between 1938 and 1971.
Using this information, they analyzed the genes associated with a higher BMI and lower risk of diseases such as diabetes in order to check whether related health problemsobesity were the origin of the depression.
The association seems to be more women than in men.
We talked about obesity from a BMI greater than 30 kg / m2, calculated BMI by dividing weight in kilograms by height in square meters.
The researchers noted that very thin men and low BMI are more prone to depression than those with considered normal weight or very thin women.
"The current obesity epidemic is very worrying"explains Professor Elina Hypponen, who co-directed the study."With depression, it costs the international community $ 1 trillion each year, according to estimates".
"Our research shows that overweight not only increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular problems: it can also lead to depression."
The study is not the first to establish a link between BMI and depression. By 2016, the researchers have already concluded that a woman with a BMI between 30 and 34.9 had twice the risk of depression compared to a woman with weight in the norm. Researchers at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, USA, presented results last year, suggesting that women with high BMI also presented a risk of baby blues more important.
A Dutch study presented at the European Obesity Congress in 2017 also suggested that overweight children at 8 or 13 years were three times more likely to fall into depression later in life.