Obesity is one of the biggest killers today. It has been linked to various physical diseases like heart attack, stroke, cancer, and kidney disease. But what about mental illness?
Obesity increases the likelihood of having mental illnesses considerably. This applies to all age groups, with women having a higher risk of most diseases than males, according to a recent study from the Complexity Science Hub and the Medical University of Vienna. The findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Translational Psychiatry.
“We analyzed a population-wide national registry of inpatient hospitalizations in Austria from 1997 to 2014 in order to determine the relative risks of comorbidities in obesity and identify statistically significant sex differences,” explains Elma Dervic of the Complexity Science Hub.
Obesity can Increase the Risk of Mental Health Disorders
As a result, it became clear that being diagnosed with obesity increases the risk of a wide range of mental problems across all age groups, including depression, nicotine addiction, psychosis, anxiety, eating, and personality disorders ().
Mental Disorders Followed Obesity
“In order to find out which illness typically appeared prior and subsequently to the obesity diagnosis, we had to develop a new method,” explains Dervic. This allowed the researchers to determine if there were trends and typical patterns in disease occurrence.