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Home Industry News Being overweight ‘increases lifetime risk of depression’

Being overweight ‘increases lifetime risk of depression’

22nd May 2017

Having a history of excess weight can make it more likely that a person will suffer depression at some point in their lives.

This is according to a new study from VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands, which examined the relationship between being overweight during childhood and lifetime depression in 889 participants living in Reykjavik, Iceland.

It was found that being overweight at age eight or 13 was associated with a more than threefold increase in the risk of developing major depression at some point in the subjects' lives. 

Meanwhile, carrying excess weight over a lifetime – both as a child and as an adult – was shown to quadruple the chance of developing depression, compared to only being overweight as an adult.

Previous studies have indicated that people who are obese are more likely to become depressed, but this is one of the first studies to look at the influence of early-life obesity over the long term.

The study authors concluded: "Given the rise in adolescents' obesity and greater influence of social media on body image, understanding the associations between childhood obesity and depression is critical."

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