BMI (body mass index) is highly associated with the existence of common mental disorders, with strong evidence that this varies with age and gender. Research suggests that those with a BMI that is lower or higher than normal tend to run a greater risk for several mental disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, among others. In young women it was observed that the higher the BMI, the higher the chances of having a disorder. On the other hand, young men experienced an increase in probability when they had both lower or higher than normal BMI.
Obesity is mostly a result of changes levels of physical activity and diet. The WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that by the year 2020, the number one cause of death will be obesity. Obesity can trigger one or more psychological conditions like eating disorders, distorted body image, depression and low self-esteem. Depression rates in obese people are more than twice as high compared to non-obese individuals. As alarming as this information may sound, remember that it can be completely avoidable in most cases.
Keeping track of your daily food/caloric intake and ensuring a healthy dose of daily physical activity can potentially save you from ailments associated with an unhealthy BMI. Unsure whether your BMI is playing a role with your current mental state? Talk to your primary care physician for a proper assessment.