People overweight and obesity can increase the risk of depression, even if there is no other health problem, warns of new research.
A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology showed that the psychological impact of overweight causes depression and not related diseases such as diabetes.
"Our research suggests that overweight not only increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, it can also lead to depression," said co-author Elina Hypponen, professor at South African University.
In a study, researchers looked at data from the UK Biobank from more than 48,000 people with depression comparing them with a control group of more than 290,000 people born between 1938 and 1971 and providing medical and genetic information.
Hospital data and self reports were used to determine if people were depressed.
The team used a genetic research approach to investigate the causal relationship between the two conditions.
They released the psychological component of obesity from the effects of obesity-related health problems through the use of genes that are associated with higher BMIs but lower risk for diseases such as diabetes.
"These genes were as closely related to depression as these genes were associated with higher BMI and diabetes, which suggests that overweight causes depression with and without related health problems, especially for women," Hipponen said.
"Our strong genetic analysis concludes that the psychological effects of obesity can lead to depression. This is important in helping to purposefully strive to reduce depression, making it more difficult for people to adopt healthy lifestyle habits," said Jess Tyrrell of the Exeter School of Medicine in Great Britain .