Researchers examine the association between obesity and mental illness in adolescents

A Swedish team of researchers has revealed in their new findings that adolescents with severe obesity are more likely to suffer from mental illness.

Their published study was released in Acta Paediatrica.

Conducted at Lund University, the Swedish research team recruited 48 adolescents, most of which were female, with an average body mass index of 42, classifying them as obese. About 50 percent of the participants underwent medical treatment. The other half took part in surgical procedures.

Questionnaires were given to determine if any symptoms of mental illness were occurring among the adolescents, including autism, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

From the study: “Two thirds of adolescents seeking surgical weight loss presented with substantial mental health problems (reported by themselves or their parents).”

“This illustrates the importance of a multi‐professional approach and the need to screen for and treat mental health disorders in adolescents with obesity,” the Swedish team concluded.

The study was funded by VINNOVA, Stiftelsen Carlanderska Sjukhuset, Tore Nilsson’s Foundation, SUS Foundations and Donations, Capio Research Foundation and Mary von Sydow’s Foundation.

Image courtesy of iStock
More Stories
How modifying 12 risk factors throughout life may reduce the risk of dementia