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Weight Gain Linked to Happiness in Women

Update Date: Sep 03, 2013 04:35 PM EDT
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Discrimination against overweight and obese people doesn't help them to lose weight, according to a new study. (Photo : Regis Duvignau/Reuters)

Women are happier when they gain weight, according to a new study.

New research reveals that while physical health deteriorates when people gain weight, mental wellbeing seems to improve, particularly in women.

German scientists found that women experienced a boost in mental quality of life as their weight increased.  Researchers said the findings also apply to women who were already overweight.

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The latest study involved data from more than 3,000 people who were part of the population-based longitudinal KORA study on the association between body weight and health-related quality of life.

Researchers assessed the participants' body-mass index as well as their health-related quality of life.

"The results show that the influence of body weight on physical and mental health is complex," study author Professor Dr. Rolf Holle said in a news release.

However, the understanding of these associations is crucial for developing medically effective and cost-effective strategies to prevent and manage obesity. The challenge is to prevent weight gain and its harmful health consequences, such as diabetes, while simultaneously structuring the programs in such a way that they counteract impairments in mental well-being. In this context, also gender-specific approaches should be considered," he concluded.

The findings are published in the International Journal of Public Health

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