Mental illness and obesity closely linked
London: Mental illness and obesity in patients might be closely linked, says a new study."Although the topic is largely unexplored, several psychosocial, lifestyle and physiological factors may be involved in the complex inter-relationship between obesity and mental illness," says Evan Atlantis.
Atlantis is from the University of Adelaide`s School of Medicine, who commented on the study led by Mika Kivimki, professor at University College London.
"Obese people - especially those who perceive themselves as being overweight - often experience weight-related stigma and discrimination, and consequently present with symptoms of low self-esteem, low self-worth and guilt," says Atlantis.
Obesity is associated with socio-economic disadvantage and low levels of physical activity, both of which are strong predictors of depression.
Atlantis says reduced physical activity and overeating - particularly comfort foods rich in fats and sugars to improve mood - are common among depressed and anxious patients.
He said patients coming to their doctor with symptoms of common mental disorder should be assessed for obesity and related chronic diseases, and vice versa, says a University of Adelaide release.
These findings were mentioned in an editorial in the October issue of British Medical Journal .