Can Being Skinny Lead to Depression in Both Men and Women?

12:19 (GMT+2) Fri, 21 Apr 2017

Studies have found that being overweight or obese is associated with depression, especially among women. But does that same link exist in those who are underweight?

According to researchers at the Seoul National University of Medicine, yes it does

In the first study to link depression with underweight body types, the research found that both men and women can be impacted by negative thoughts about being too skinny.

Researchers were not able to determine which was the cause and effect — if depression led to being thin, or if being thin triggered depression.

However, after analyzing data from over 180 past studies, they were able to find that when it comes to obesity in particular, the risk for depression increases as people pack on more pounds.

This seems to affect women more than men.

“It seems that the current ideal of thinness affects women more than their male counterparts and causes more psychological distress in women, which can, in turn, lead to depression,” the study states.

But knowing that both sides of the spectrum is associated with depression in either sex, researchers say physicians and other medical professionals should pay attention to the mental health of people who are both over and underweight.

The study was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Studies linking weight and/or weight loss and depression have varied in their findings over the years.


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