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Attitude May Be Key to Overweight Girls' Risk of Depression

Attitude May Be Key to Overweight Girls' Risk of Depression

05/04/12

FRIDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight teen girls who are happy with their size and shape have higher levels of self-esteem, are less likely to be depressed and are less prone to unhealthy behaviors than those who don't like their bodies, researchers say.

For their study, University of California-San Diego researchers surveyed a group of more than 100 overweight teenagers between 2004 and 2006.

"We found that girls with high body satisfaction had a lower likelihood of unhealthy weight-control behaviors like fasting, skipping meals or vomiting," Kerri Boutelle, an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the UCSD School of Medicine, said in a university news release.

The positive link between a teen girl's happiness with her body size and shape and her mental and behavioral well-being suggests that improving body satisfaction could be an important part of interventions for overweight youth, she added.

A focus on enhancing self-image while providing motivation and skills to affect weight-control behaviors may help protect young girls from feelings of depression, anxiety or anger associated with being overweight, Boutelle said.

The study is scheduled to be published in the June issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about teens' body image and self-esteem.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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