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Why Obesity Is Likely to Cause Depression

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Fat “acceptance” campaigns that insist you can be happily obese are missing the mark when it comes to addressing feelings of depression, a new study shows. As reported by WTOP, even when you have no other health problems, simply being overweight can cause depression.

Researchers from the University of Exeter and the University of South Australia said they looked at both medical and genetic information from 338,000 people to come to this conclusion. They also noted that the depressive effect is stronger in women than men.

Worldwide, depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability, and anxiety is the most common mental illness in the U.S. And, sorry to say to all those who insist there’s no connection between obesity and depression except for the stigmatization imparted by outsiders-looking-in, more and more studies are showing compelling links between feelings of depression and obesity.

In fact, more recent studies have shown that women with abdominal obesity are particularly at risk for depression and anxiety. Sadly, if you go to your doctor to talk about these feelings, you’re very much more likely to come home with a prescription for an antidepressant than a road-to-wellness plan for losing weight.

Before I go into the best food plan, though, I can’t help but mention that there are many compelling links between a high-sugar processed food diet and poor mental health outcomes, with studies concluding there is a definite connection between obesity and mental health.

Another point is that insulin resistance is a driving factor not only in obesity but also in most chronic diseases, and based on the evidence, it's clear it plays a significant role in your mental health as well. I could go on with long lists of studies that show this, but the main question that needs answering is: What can you do to eat healthy, lose weight and get happy?

The answer is: Use nutrition to rescue yourself from both obesity and depression. Begin by dramatically reducing your sugar intake, eating plenty of fresh, organic vegetables and moderate amounts of fruits, and by replacing sugar and grain carbs with healthy fats such as avocados, grass fed meats, pastured butter, organic pastured eggs, coconut oil, MCT oil, raw cacao butter and raw nuts.

These are all things that I talk about in my book, “Fat for Fuel,” and which I expand on in my brand-new book, “Superfuel: Ketogenic Keys to Unlock the Secrets of Good Fats, Bad Fats, and Great Health.” This book is especially helpful for anyone who’s wondering why low-fat diets simply don’t work (which may make you depressed in and of itself if you’re the one struggling on a low-fat diet). The other good news is that “Superfuel” delves into that problem and details what’s wrong about low-fat diets and what’s right about healthy fats that rev up your body to run at its optimum best — and help you lose weight (and possibly gain happiness) while you’re at it.

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