Monday, June 2
In general, Petry’s team found, obese adults had higher risks of major and milder depression, anxiety disorders like panic disorder and phobias, and “manic” episodes. They also showed higher rates of alcohol abuse and personality disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive behavior and paranoid personality disorder.
The researchers could not fully investigate the reasons for all of these links, but use of psychiatric drugs — which can cause weight gain — did not explain the findings. They say behavioral, biological or genetic factors could all plausibly play a role in the relationship between weight and mental health.
For example, Petry explained, the links between weight and certain psychiatric disorders could point to a general “behavioral dysregulation,” where people deal with stress by overeating, as well as doing other things in excess.
Eating can also become in a “conditioned reinforcer” in some people, she said. This means that if a person habitually turns to food in response to anxiety, then eventually even minor stress may spur overeating.
Um, hello?! Did the researchers ever stop to think that some disorders are caused by the environment in which people live? All of the negative messages that fat people receive certainly tear them down after a while, which contribute to depression and other unfortunate stuff.
Seems to me these researchers can’t see the forest for the trees!