Weight loss makes you 'healthy', not essentially 'happy'
A new research has revealed that losing weight definitely makes people healthy but it does not necessarily effects on their mental health or mood.
The results showed that the people who lost 5 percent or more of their initial body weight over four years showed significant changes in markers of physical health, but were more likely to report depressed mood than those who stayed within 5 percent of their original weight.
The study highlighted to the need of considering mental health alongside physical health when losing weight. Clinical trials of weight loss have been shown to improve participants' mood, but this could be a result of the supportive environment rather than the weight loss itself, as the effects are seen very early on in treatment and are not related to the extent of weight loss.
It's important to note this new result does not mean that weight loss necessarily causes depression directly, as depression and weight loss may share a common cause. However, it shows that weight loss outside the clinical trial setting cannot be assumed to improve mood and raises questions about the psychological impact of weight loss.
Dr Sarah Jackson (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health), said that they do not want to discourage anyone from trying to lose weight, which has tremendous physical benefits, but people should not expect weight loss to instantly improve all aspects of life.
She further aspirational advertising by diet brands may give people unrealistic expectations about weight loss. They often promise instant life improvements, which may not be borne out in reality for many people. People should be realistic about weight loss and be prepared for the challenges.
The research is published in PLOS ONE.
(Posted on 08-08-2014)