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Mind Affects Body –Link between Anxiety Disorder, Depression and Obesit

Childhood depression and anxiety disorder has a connection with obesity risks as they grow up, more so, in the case of women, according to a new study. //

A team of researchers led by Sarah E. Anderson, M.S., from Tufts University carried a study on a group of 820 people - 403 women and 417 men - who underwent assessment four times between 1983 and 2003. The participants were in the age group of 9 to 18 during the beginning of the study, and were in the age group of 28 to 40 when the last assessment was done.

The researchers observed the link between anxiety disorders, depression and weight gain from childhood into adulthood. Interviews were also conducted to ascertain clinical observations that portray depression or anxiety disorder and BMI was calculated according to growth chart percentiles.

The team observed that among 310 participants, nearly 119 men and 191 women had suffered anxiety disorders and 50 men and 98 women were suffering from depression. Women who suffered anxiety disorders had higher BMI when compared to women who were of the same age and social status but who did not suffer the mental condition.

The team also revealed that women who had a history of depression, especially those from a young age, were tending to be heavier than normal women. To quote the words of the team, “Our results suggest that efforts to improve mental health in populations may also help prevent female obesity."

The study is published in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.


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