Being overweight in childhood may heighten lifetime risk of depression, posted 5-18-17.  Children who are overweight, as defined by a BMI between 25 and 29.9 (not “obese”) at age 8 or 13 years were found to have more than a 4-times increase in risk of lifetime MDD in comparison to children who were normal weight who went on to become overweight as adults.

The authors conclude: “Our findings suggest that some of the underlying mechanisms linking overweight or obesity to depression stem from childhood. A shared genetic risk or low self-esteem, which is frequently associated with those who do not conform to the ideal body type, could be responsible. Given the rise in adolescents’ obesity and greater influence of social media on body image, understanding the associations between childhood obesity and depression is critical.”

This information may be used to educate parents of children who are overweight and to promote healthcare psychology services to PCPs and pediatricians., 5-18-17

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