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Are obese adolescents and young adults at higher risk for mental disorders? A community survey

MPS-Authors

Lamertz,  CM
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

Jacobi,  C
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

Yassouridis,  A
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

Arnold,  K
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

Henkel,  AW
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Lamertz, C., Jacobi, C., Yassouridis, A., Arnold, K., & Henkel, A. (2002). Are obese adolescents and young adults at higher risk for mental disorders? A community survey. Obesity Research, 10(11), 1152-1160.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-A013-B
Abstract
Objective: Associations between body mass index (BMI) and mental disorders meeting Axis-I diagnoses according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders IV (DSM- IV) were investigated in The Early Developmental Stages of Psychopathology Study in a large population-based sample, which included adolescents and young adults of both genders for the first time. Research Methods and Procedures: A total of 3021 German subjects ranging from 14 to 24 years of age were assessed for specific DSM-IV diagnoses derived from a modified version of the standardized Composite International Diagnostic Interview, and general psychological disturbances, using the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised. BMI percentiles for age and gender were calculated to avoid systematic bias in the BMI distribution resulting from the young age range represented in the sample. Additionally, subjects with a lifetime diagnosis of any eating disorder were excluded from statistical analysis to control the confounding effect of body weight-related eating disorders on associations between BMI and psychopathology. Results: The results based on logistic regression analyses and MANOVAs demonstrate that the BMI is not associated with mental disorders or general psychopathologies. There were no significant associations between BMI and mood, anxiety, substance, and somatoform disorders, a result that contrasts with almost all previous clinical studies. Additionally, in contrast to clinical investigations and most epidemiological studies, neither obesity nor underweight was significantly associated with any kind of general psychopathology. Discussion: The overall finding that obesity is not significantly related to marked psychopathology in the general German population of adolescents and young adults has important clinical implication