A large-scale study has shown that a high body mass index can provoke depression and reduce well-being.
One in four people in the UK is obese, and the number of children with high body mass index (BMI) is on the rise. Being overweight is known to affect physical health and well-being. But in a new study published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, researchers from the University of Exeter (UK) found that a high BMI can be one of the causes of depression.
The team used Mendelian randomization and examined the genetic data of 145,668 British Biobank participants, as well as information about their mental health. In addition, respondents completed questionnaires on levels of depression, anxiety, and general well-being.
It is known that, in this regard, there are two sets of genetic variants in humans. The first includes those who have a high BMI, but a relatively healthy metabolism, so they are less likely to experience the effects of obesity - high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
But those who are unlucky enough to be carriers of another genetic variant are prone not only to obesity, but also to unhealthy metabolism, as well as diabetes and high blood pressure. At the same time, all overweight people showed a higher propensity for depression than people with normal weight.