New Delhi: Turns out, there is an increasing need to prevent obesity because of the consequences for mental and physical health. The study explored the impact of aspects of physical health, such as body weight, heart health and blood pressure, to see whether a wide age range of individuals with poorer physical health went on to be less happy and less satisfied with their lives.
Previous studies have shown that individuals who are happier and more satisfied with their lives tend to have better physical health and live longer than those who have lower mental wellbeing. But these studies leave the classic chicken and egg question - which comes first?
Using a technique called Mendelian randomization, the researchers asked whether poorer physical health causes lower mental wellbeing, or whether individuals with lower mental wellbeing are more likely to go on to have later problems with their physical health.
The research team was able to test 11 measures of physical health including coronary artery disease, heart attack, cholesterol, blood pressure, body fat and Body Mass Index (BMI).
Results suggested a consistent causal effect of higher BMI on lower mental wellbeing.