Thin women most likely to become victims to depression: Study

The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, pointed out that depressed people may be more likely to lose weight, or it could be that being thin makes people depressed.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Apr 23, 2017, 11:10 AM IST
Thin women most likely to become victims to depression: Study
(Representational image)

New Delhi: Previous studies have shown obesity and malnourishment, both linked to poor mental health. But, a new study has also raised questions on the mental health of thin women.

Being thin may give you the satisfaction of fitting into and looking good in anything and everything, however, the same can't be said for your mental health.

The study reveals that skinny women are more likely to be depressed, associating it with low moods.

The study was carried out by a team of researchers from the Seoul National University of Medicine in South Korea and further revealed that both men and women are affected by negative thoughts about being too thin, unlike depression among obese people, which predominantly affects women.

The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, pointed out that depressed people may be more likely to lose weight, or it could be that being thin makes people depressed.

"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 authors stated.

The team analysed data from 183 different studies. They found that obesity increased the risk for depression in both underweight and obese people. The results showed that the opposite is true and malnutrition has a detrimental effect on people's mood as maintaining a healthy weight is essential for good mental health. In clinical practice, medical care providers should pay attention to the mental health of people who are underweight, the authors further explained.

"This large study confirms that optimal nutrition is fundamentally important for physical and mental health. Both being underweight and obese is associated with an increased risk of depression," said Dr Agnes Ayton, vice-chairman of the eating disorders faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

"It is an important finding, as people with eating disorders often assume that losing weight will improve their happiness," Ayton added.

(With ANI inputs)