Obesity and suicidality in youth
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Examining the relationship between weight status, psychological health, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in Dutch adolescents.

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Obesity and Suicidality in Youth


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Introduction

  • Dr. Sharma had previous posted and had highlighted the importance of mental health problems as promoters of and barriers to weight management.

  • A paper by Lisa van Wijnen and colleagues from the National Institute for Public Health and Environment in Bilthoven, The Netherlands, published in the latest issue of OBESITY, examines the relationship between weight status, psychological health, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in Dutch adolescents.


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Study

  • Data were analysed from the 2003 E-MOVO project, a population-based study of 21,730 adolescents who responded to a classroom-based internet questionnaire.

  • Obese boys were around 5-times and obese girls were about 3-times more likely to be “psychologically unhealthy” compared to normal weight subjects.

  • Obese boys and girls were 3 to 4 times more likely to report suicidal thoughts in the past 12 months and 4 to 7 times more likely to report lifetime suicide attempts.


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Obesity - Psychological Consequences

  • As the authors point out, this remarkable relationship between obesity in adolescents and psychopathology, including suicidality, serves to remind us that prevention and treatment of obesity should not focus solely on the medical complications of this disorder but also on the psychological consequences of excess weight.


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About Dr. Arya M. Sharma

Dr. Arya M. Sharma, MD/PhD, FRCPC is Professor of Medicine & Chair for Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. He is also the Medical Director of the Edmonton Capital Health Region’s interdisciplinary Weight Wise Program.

Dr. Sharma is also the Scientific Director of the Canadian Obesity Network funded through the federal Networks of Centres Excellence program. Dr. Sharma has authored and co-authored more than 250 scientific articles and has lectured widely on the etiology and management of obesity and related cardiovascular disorders. He sends his informative messages through his blog Dr. Sharma’s Obesity Notes.

For more information on Obesity visit;

Website: http://www.drsharma.ca/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Arya-Sharma/115328778486319


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