Dr. Jimenez presents commentary on obesity and newly reported childhood depression link.
FRIDAY, May 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) — As if it isn’t tough enough being an overweight kid, a new study shows it could have long-lasting repercussions for psychological health, too.
When compared with normal-weight kids who become overweight adults, overweight or obese youth in the study faced three times the risk of depression in adulthood, the research found.
And, that risk was more than four times greater if they were overweight or obese in both childhood and adulthood, the investigators reported.
The study doesn’t prove that obesity causes depression. But the finding confirms earlier reports of an increased depression risk in young people who are obese, the study authors said.
“Overweight children do have a higher risk of developing major depressive disorder over their lifetime compared to normal-weight children,” said study author Deborah Gibson-Smith.
More than one in three children in the United States is overweight and nearly one in five is obese, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The relationship between obesity and depression is complex, said Gibson-Smith, a Ph.D. student at VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands.
For example, people who fail to conform to ideal body weight may have lower self-esteem, and “low self-esteem has been associated with subsequent depression,” she observed.
It’s also possible their vulnerability for both overweight and depression is partly due to a “shared genetic risk,” she added.
According to Gibson-Smith, data on height and weight were collected between 1924 and 1944, when study participants were 8 years old — and the prevalence of obesity was low.
“Maybe this group of children are those more genetically susceptible to obesity,” she reasoned.
Gibson-Smith and colleagues used data from nearly 900 Icelanders born between 1907 and 1935 who participated in a population study that followed on an earlier, larger study.
Participants in the 2002 to 2006 follow-up study were 75 years old, on average. Data on childhood weight and height were obtained from school records, while midlife data came from the earlier study.
A BMI, or body mass index, of between 25 and 29.9 was considered overweight. BMI is a ratio based on height and weight that is used to estimate body fat.
In all, 39 people were diagnosed as ever having major depression. The data were adjusted for age and sex at the time of the BMI measurements.
The investigators found that excess weight in childhood is a stronger predictor of later depression than being overweight in midlife.
Ideally, parents should help their children achieve a healthier weight, Gibson-Smith said. However, she cautioned against focusing too much on size and instead “on being healthy and being physically active.”
James Zervios is a spokesman for the Obesity Action Coalition, an advocacy organization for individuals affected by obesity.
Zervios said that his organization sees value in a “family-centric approach,” implementing healthy changes that the whole family can make — not singling out a child who may be dealing with a weight issue. The coalition’s website offers resources on things to do with your children to increase healthy behaviors, and ways to talk to them about the issue.
“I also think it’s important to talk with your child and see if they’re being bullied or if they’re being fat-shamed at school,” Zervios added. “That can obviously impact the child’s well-being and mental health.”
The findings were presented Thursday at the European Congress on Obesity, in Porto, Portugal. Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
SOURCES: Deborah Gibson-Smith, Ph.D. student, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; James Zervios, spokesman, Obesity Action Coalition; May 18, 2017, presentation, European Congress on Obesity, Porto, Portugal
News stories are written and provided by HealthDay and do not reflect federal policy, the views of MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The information herein on "Heavy Kids Face Triple the Odds for Depression in Adulthood" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card