History of depression promotes obesity

22 October 2014

A new study has found that a history of depression, combined with marriage troubles, can significantly increase a person's risk of being obese by changing how the body processes high-fat foods.

To gather their findings, a team from the Ohio State University combined both male and female participants with a history of depression and who had heated arguments with their partners and looked at their digestion. It found that the group had several potential metabolic problems after eating a high-fat meal, burning less calories and having higher levels of insulin. The group also reported a spike in triglycerides – a form of fat in the blood – after eating a heavy meal, compared to participants without these risk factors.

“These findings not only identify how chronic stressors can lead to obesity, but also point to how important it is to treat mood disorders. Interventions for mental health clearly could benefit physical health as well,” said Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at The Ohio State University and lead author of the study.

The reduced calorie-burning after a single meal translates to a weight gain of up to 12 pounds in a year, with multiple problems increasing the risk of metabolic syndrome.

Posted by Philip Briggs​


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