Melbourne: An Australian study has found that people who are obese are more likely to have mental health problems.
Researchers collected data on the physical and mental health of more than 1200 Queensland-based volunteers.
Older obese participants, those aged 45 to 54 years, were found to be more likely to report emotional problems had affected their work or social activities compared with their healthy peers.
They were also less likely to have felt calm in the month prior to the study, though it was not clear whether obesity was the cause or effect of their mental health problems.
"It``s one of those, ``what comes first, the chicken or the egg`` type of things," the Courier Mail quoted Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) spokesperson Lisa Renn as saying, commenting on the research.
"If someone is obese they are going to have problems with their physical health, and poor physical health can lead to issues with self-esteem and body image and that increases anxiety and depression.
"The other side is those people who are suffering from anxiety and depression have a decreased ability to focus on their health."
Institute for Health and Social Science Research at the Rockhampton campus of Central Queensland University conducted the research.
The study has been published in the Australian Health Review.