21 Nov 2012

"Fat but happy" gene found

12:16 pm on 21 November 2012

Scientists have discovered a gene that causes obesity also reduces the risk of depression.

Researchers at McMaster University in Canada found people with the gene FTO, which is a genetic contributor to obesity, were 8% less at risk of becoming depressed than those without the gene.

They say the findings challenge conventional wisdom that obese people are more likely to become depressed due to poor body image and that people with depression are more likely to become obese through living a less active lifestyle.

The research was based on more than 17,000 DNA samples from 21 countries and has been published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal.