Negative Body Image Increases Risk Of Obesity For Teens Than Depression: Study

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

Negative body image drastically increases the risk of obesity despite youth depression according to researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. The team published  the study in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

The latest study found out that volunteers who were suffering depression were probably twice to be obese in the next six year. This has implied that a cause-and-effect connection between depression and obesity. Later on, when body image was brought in, researchers found no link between key depression and obesity. This means that body image is the interceding factor, UTHealth School of Public Health San Antonio Professor Robert E. Roberts, PhD said in the journal.

Roberts and his co-author scanned information from the study called Teen Health 2000 (TH2K) which assessed youth aged 11 to 17 in Houston. The youth were invited to portray themselves as skinny, somewhat skinny, average weight, somewhat overweight or overweight. Their height and weight were also measured and checked up whether they experienced a major depressive incident over the last year before the tests, the journal said.

Those with a body mass index of 30 or more were considered obese, only for the purpose of the study. Meanwhile, volunteers who perceived themselves to be overweight, not considering how much they weighed, were twice as probable to be obese a year after they were surveyed, the journal added.

According to the Affective Disorder Journal, preceding research has pointed out that negative body image is in association with superior psychological distress, more disordered food consumption, eating spree and less health-friendly behaviors like physical exercise and eating of fruits and veggies. While clinically, attending body image in depressed patients who apparently are obese could improve result, Roberts said, who is also part of the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at UTHealth School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus.

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