news.sky.comnews.sky.com - April 20 view article

Does being skinny make you sad? Study finds links with depression

In the quest for the body beautiful, many think that losing weight will make them happier.

However, a new study has found that being skinny is linked to depression.

The question now is which comes first.

While experts from Seoul National University of Medicine think they have found a link between being underweight and being depressed, they are unable to say whether depression leads to thinness or vice versa.

Image: Unsurprisingly, the study found that the current ideal of thinness affects women more than men

The chicken or the egg argument means depressed people could be more prone to losing weight, or alternatively that being skinny leads to depression.

The study - which was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry and drew from 183 case studies - also hit on a significant difference between the way men and women view their weight.

While both men and women are affected by negative thoughts about being too thin, depression about being overweight is much more common in women.

The study revealed that while women were more likely to be upset by their obesity, man tended towards a "jolly fat disposition" and stood less chance of being depressed if they were overweight.

Unsurprisingly, societal pressures on women to adhere to a 'perfect' body type could largely be to blame for the disparity in feelings.

"It seems that the current ideal of thinness affects women more than their male counterparts and causes more psychological distress in women, which can, in turn, lead to depression," the study said.

"In contrast, men who are overweight showed a significantly decreased risk of depression."

However, the study found also found that obesity increased the risk for depression in accordance with the amount of extra weight each person was carrying - in layman's terms, the fatter people were, the more depressed they felt.

Experts concluded that "both being underweight and obesity increase the risk of depression".

news.sky.comnews.sky.com - April 20 view article