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Association between body mass index and mental health among Scottish adult population: a cross-sectional study of 37,272 participants.
Psychol Med 2014; 44(10):2231-40PM

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The evidence is conflicting as to whether body mass index (BMI) is associated with mental health and, if so, to what extent it varies by sex and age. We studied mental health across the full spectrum of BMI among the general population, and conducted subgroup analyses by sex and age.

METHOD

We undertook a cross-sectional study of a representative sample of the Scottish adult population. The Scottish Health Survey provided data on mental health, measured by the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ), BMI, demographic and life-style information. Good mental health was defined as a GHQ score <4, and poor mental health as a GHQ score ⩾4. Logistic regression models were applied.

RESULTS

Of the 37 272 participants, 5739 (15.4%) had poor mental health. Overall, overweight participants had better mental health than the normal-weight group [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.87-0.99, p = 0.049], and individuals who were underweight, class II or class III obese had poorer mental health (class III obese group: adjusted OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.05-1.51, p = 0.013). There were significant interactions of BMI with sex (p = 0.013) and with age (p < 0.001). Being overweight was associated with significantly better mental health in middle-aged men only. In contrast, being underweight at all ages or obese at a young age was associated with significantly poorer mental health in women only.

CONCLUSIONS

The adverse associations between adiposity and mental health are specific to women. Underweight women and young women who are obese have poorer mental health. In contrast, middle-aged overweight men have better mental health.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institute of Health and Wellbeing,University of Glasgow,Glasgow,UK.Institute of Health and Wellbeing,University of Glasgow,Glasgow,UK.Institute of Health and Wellbeing,University of Glasgow,Glasgow,UK.Institute of Health and Wellbeing,University of Glasgow,Glasgow,UK.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24274839

Citation

Ul-Haq, Z, et al. "Association Between Body Mass Index and Mental Health Among Scottish Adult Population: a Cross-sectional Study of 37,272 Participants." Psychological Medicine, vol. 44, no. 10, 2014, pp. 2231-40.
Ul-Haq Z, Mackay DF, Fenwick E, et al. Association between body mass index and mental health among Scottish adult population: a cross-sectional study of 37,272 participants. Psychol Med. 2014;44(10):2231-40.
Ul-Haq, Z., Mackay, D. F., Fenwick, E., & Pell, J. P. (2014). Association between body mass index and mental health among Scottish adult population: a cross-sectional study of 37,272 participants. Psychological Medicine, 44(10), pp. 2231-40. doi:10.1017/S0033291713002833.
Ul-Haq Z, et al. Association Between Body Mass Index and Mental Health Among Scottish Adult Population: a Cross-sectional Study of 37,272 Participants. Psychol Med. 2014;44(10):2231-40. PubMed PMID: 24274839.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Association between body mass index and mental health among Scottish adult population: a cross-sectional study of 37,272 participants. AU - Ul-Haq,Z, AU - Mackay,D F, AU - Fenwick,E, AU - Pell,J P, Y1 - 2013/11/25/ PY - 2013/11/27/entrez PY - 2013/11/28/pubmed PY - 2016/1/26/medline SP - 2231 EP - 40 JF - Psychological medicine JO - Psychol Med VL - 44 IS - 10 N2 - BACKGROUND: The evidence is conflicting as to whether body mass index (BMI) is associated with mental health and, if so, to what extent it varies by sex and age. We studied mental health across the full spectrum of BMI among the general population, and conducted subgroup analyses by sex and age. METHOD: We undertook a cross-sectional study of a representative sample of the Scottish adult population. The Scottish Health Survey provided data on mental health, measured by the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ), BMI, demographic and life-style information. Good mental health was defined as a GHQ score <4, and poor mental health as a GHQ score ⩾4. Logistic regression models were applied. RESULTS: Of the 37 272 participants, 5739 (15.4%) had poor mental health. Overall, overweight participants had better mental health than the normal-weight group [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.87-0.99, p = 0.049], and individuals who were underweight, class II or class III obese had poorer mental health (class III obese group: adjusted OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.05-1.51, p = 0.013). There were significant interactions of BMI with sex (p = 0.013) and with age (p < 0.001). Being overweight was associated with significantly better mental health in middle-aged men only. In contrast, being underweight at all ages or obese at a young age was associated with significantly poorer mental health in women only. CONCLUSIONS: The adverse associations between adiposity and mental health are specific to women. Underweight women and young women who are obese have poorer mental health. In contrast, middle-aged overweight men have better mental health. SN - 1469-8978 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24274839/Association_between_body_mass_index_and_mental_health_among_Scottish_adult_population:_a_cross_sectional_study_of_37272_participants_ L2 - https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S0033291713002833/type/journal_article DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -