High BMI and poor mental health


So this is something that probably won’t come as a surprise - researchers at Bristol uni have found a link between higher BMI and poor mental health.

Dr Claire Haworth, Reader in Behavioural Genetics in the MRC IEU at the University of Bristol, and senior author on the study, added: “Results so far highlight the pressing need to tackle the obesity crisis because higher BMI is causing the population to be less happy and less satisfied with their lives.”

The next question for researchers is why this is.

If you’re unhappy with your body and feeling unfit and sluggish, I find it just makes for an all-round feeling of hopelessness and despair.

You can read more about this study here.

What are your thoughts?


Great research but very sad to think about, so many people fall into gaining weight on the backend of poor mental health (I did), then the result of ending up with excess weight just contributes even more to mental health issue, keeping tons of people in a ‘trap’ if you will.



I think this is spot on.

Also to reiterate what Nas said about it being a trap - again its spot on. It is a vicous circle in that people get depressed and some turn to food in turn putting on weight. With that you get even more depressed that your feeling unhealthy and not looking your best in that you further turn to your comforts. Its getting out of that trap and getting your mind healthy which in turn getting your body healthy is the hardest thing.


the cyclic “feel crap/eat crap/get fatter/feel worse” negative pattern behaviour is just SO common, yet a trap that so many people fall into with complete ease, I have done it routinely now for the best part of 30 years.

It’s a process that is insanely hard to break!


Related to this, a study that shows the importance of exercise in the treatment of major mental health conditions - and the researchers suggest that exercise needs to form a core part of treatment plans as it is that effective. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/30257806/

“The authors found that exercise can effectively reduce mental health symptoms, improve cognition, and strengthen cardiovascular fitness among patients with depression and schizophrenia.”


fair play @emma1 on the solid info , I do love a good peer reviewed study :slight_smile:


I have bad menyal health iv been sectioned 2 times once when i was a teenager once an adult. The meds defo cause weight gain. But i was alredy overweight even before then so its complicated. Iv been always overweight since my whole life. Ultimately if u dont like urself or ur life why will u care about ur health thats my problem :frowning:

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Actually this ended up bein 1 good link of mental health + BMI… idk if u kno but often psychiatic hosptials hav gyms 4 patients (obviously not all eg. Anorexia) but ne ways i NEVER thought i was a gym person but then when i was in hospital they was like do u wanna go 2 the gym?? Well its so BORING/stressful i would do ne thing 2 get off the ward so i was like RIGHTS!!! it come 1 of the few things i actully liked there, abit time i could actual feel normal. I thought am defo gonna keep this up when am out!! I realised evenings r v bad times 4 my mental health cos i get propa lonely n bad thoughts so i knew havin summit 2 keep me busy will help. It really did. So 4 along time my only goal was just to go. An i did, 3 yrs goin strong. And NO MORE psychiatric admissions neither! NICE!!

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That’s brilliant and I’m so pleased for you! It’s one of those things where once you’re doing it, you can see its benefits and you’re likely to keep going…but it’s getting started that’s the hard part. I’m sorry that it was something you found while in a psychiatric hospital, but it sounds like it’s been really positive for you and a good part of your recovery?

Well done for keeping it up for 3 years too!

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I agree sometimes u need 2 find out by doin it cos i dont think i would of just been 2 the gym othwise.
Yes it defo happened the hard way but it has been a good thing 4 my recovery. It goes 2 show exercise is gd 4 ur mental health to so i always say its been an absolute success even tho i not lost much weight cos its not just about that. Thats the nxt step!