Adolescent BMI Link: Rising Weights, Rising Depression Risks

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by Neuroscience News.

New research identifies a strong correlation between higher BMI in children aged 12-16 and increased risks of depression symptoms. The association weakens for the age bracket 16-21, suggesting an age-sensitive period during early adolescence.

Analyzing data from over 10,000 twins, the study underscores the potential benefits of early preventative measures. Experts emphasize the need for positive body image messaging and support during these crucial adolescent years.

Key Facts:

  1. The research from King’s College London studied over 10,000 twins and found a strong connection between higher BMI and depression symptoms for those aged 12-16.
  2. While past studies suggested poverty as a risk factor, this study indicates the BMI-depression link persists even after adjusting for socio-economic status.
  3. The relationship between BMI and depression appears to be mainly influenced by environmental factors, with elements like body dissatisfaction and weight-related stigma potentially playing significant roles.

The study was published recently in Psychological Medicine by researchers from King’s College London.


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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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