Obese People Associated with Lower Rates of Suicide

Susan Farley
Published Online: Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Researchers from Bristol University in England tracked 3000 people for 16 years and found a correlation between an increased body mass index (BMI) and a decreased risk of serious depression. It was determined that, for every 5 points a person's BMI increases, the risk of suicide is decreased by about 15%. They concluded that skinny people were more likely to be unhappy and commit suicide than people who were overweight/obese. Professor David Gunnell commented that they were surprised at the results because "there is a view that people who are overweight may be stigmatized and made to feel depressed."

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.

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