Obesity Increases Risk of Mental Disorders: Prevention Methods and Advice from Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The number of obese patients in Korea is increasing significantly every year. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey published by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March, the prevalence of obesity in all age groups increased from 2011 to 2021. In particular, the prevalence of obesity among adult males increased significantly from 35.1% in 2011 to 46.3% in 2021. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that “the prevalence of obesity in Korea is increasing year by year” and advised that “active management is necessary to prevent obesity.”

Obese people have a greater risk of mental illness than people of normal weight|Source: Getty Image Bank

Why should obesity be prevented? Obesity is not simply a state of gaining weight, it is the seed of a panacea. It increases the risk of various chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, and is also related to severe diseases such as cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) also defines obesity as ‘abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that is a risk factor for health’ and classifies it as one of the diseases that require treatment. Moreover, recently, various studies have been published that indicate that obesity has an adverse effect on mental health.

Obesity Increases Risk of Mental Disorders
On May 30, a research team led by Michael Leutner, professor of internal medicine at the University of Vienna, Austria, published a study in the international journal ‘Translational Psychiatry’ that found that obesity is associated with various mental disorders. announced.

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The study was conducted by analyzing data from all patients admitted to hospitals in Austria from 1997 to 2014. As a result, it was found that the risk of developing various mental disorders such as depression, tobacco addiction, psychosis, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders increased sharply after being diagnosed with obesity in all age groups.

This phenomenon was more pronounced in women than in men, and obese women had a higher risk than obese men for all mental disorders except schizophrenia and tobacco addiction. For example, tobacco addiction occurred in 16.66% of obese men, but only about 8.58% of obese women. On the other hand, depression occurred in 13.3% of obese women, twice as high as obese men (6.61%).

Overall, obese people had a 3.71-fold higher risk of tobacco addiction, a 2.52-fold higher risk of temporary depression, a 2.65-fold higher risk of recurrent depression, a 2.03-fold higher risk of manic depression, and a 2.72-fold higher risk of dysthymia than people of normal weight. The risk of schizophrenia was 1.75 times higher, the risk of anxiety disorder was 2.13 times higher, the risk of eating disorder was 1.80 times higher, and the risk of personality disorder was 1.56 times higher. In addition, the risk of schizoaffective disorder and somatization disorder in obese people was 2.88 and 1.92 times higher than those in normal weight, respectively.

Schizoaffective disorder refers to a disease in which the main symptoms (hallucinations, abnormal behavior, delusions) and mood disorders (depression, mania) that meet the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia appear simultaneously. According to the DSM-5, which is the most accurate diagnosis system for mental disorders, in order to be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, symptoms of schizophrenia and symptoms of mood disorder, not caused by drugs or medical conditions, must exist at the same time. Symptoms must persist for at least 2 weeks. Although the definition is very complicated, it is generally known that the prognosis is slightly better than that of schizophrenia. However, if the frequency of symptoms of schizophrenia is higher than that of mood disorders, the prognosis is worse.

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The research team explained, “This study shows that obesity affects the risk of various mental diseases as well as physical diseases such as high blood pressure and cancer.”

Regular diet and exercise are essential
A combination of diet control and exercise is most effective in preventing obesity. Below are the obesity prevention methods provided by the Korean Society of Obesity.

1. It is forbidden to starve unconditionally to lose weight
If you starve unconditionally to lose weight, your metabolism slows down and you gain weight easily. That is why it is important to eat regular meals. In the morning, it is good to eat something that digests well and does not burden the stomach.

2. Chew slowly to feel full
Mealtime is just as important as meal size. It takes at least 20 minutes for the brain to feel full. It is good to get into the habit of chewing slowly and thoroughly while eating.

3. Regular exercise
Regular exercise is essential to prevent obesity. However, the intensity and frequency of exercise should be gradually increased according to the individual. Excessive exercise puts a strain on the body.

4. If you don’t have time to exercise, increase the amount of activity in your daily life
If you do not have enough time to exercise, it is important to increase the amount of activity in your daily life. It is better to reduce the time lying down after work, take a walk in the park, climb the stairs instead of the elevator, and use public transportation rather than a car.

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2023-06-03 10:11:00

#Obesity #worsens #mental #healthwomen #risk #men

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