Obesity causes depression even if there are no related health problems, a new study has been found.
Together led by the University of Exeter and the University of South Australia, genetic analysis found that only having a body mass index higher than average could cause depression.
According to the researchers, this is a result of the psychological impact of being overweight.
This study used data from the UK Biobank belonging to 48,000 people with depression and compared it with more than 290,000 people without depression.
The relationship between the two health conditions was investigated by separating the psychological component of obesity from related health problems.
The results were verified using data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, which gave the same conclusion.
Dr. Jessical Tyrrell, lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School, said the study had helped to clarify the confusion of whether & # 39; obesity caused depression or vice versa, and also whether it was overweight itself or related health problems that could cause depression. . & # 39;
He added: & # 39; Our strong genetic analysis concludes that the psychological impact of obesity tends to cause depression. This is important to help target efforts to reduce depression, which makes it much more difficult for people to adopt healthy lifestyle habits. & # 39;
Earlier this year, Public Health England asked doctors to regularly record patient BMI as part of a long-term plan to combat obesity in adults.