Teens who don’t like how their bodies look or have a negative body image have an increased risk of developing youth obesity, says a new study.

A study by researchers at The University of Texas Health and Science Center has shown that a negative body image can significantly increase the risk of adolescent obesity, regardless of whether he or she is depressed.

Researchers surveyed young people ages 11 to 17 and asked them to describe themselves as either skinny, average weight, somewhat overweight or overweight.

Those who thought of themselves as overweight, regardless of their actual weight, were twice as likely to be obese one year later. Young women were three times as likely.

First author and professor Robert R. Roberts, Ph.D. says that a previous study had shown the link between participants who were depressed and an increase in obesity.

However, when the subject of body image was introduced into the new study, there was no major link between obesity and depression. – AFP Relaxnews