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Weight Gain Linked to Happiness in Women

Update Date: Sep 03, 2013 04:35 PM EDT

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.

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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