Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New links among alcohol abuse, depression, obesity in young women found

25.09.2009
There is new evidence that depression, obesity and alcohol abuse or dependency are interrelated conditions among young adult women but not men.

Using data collected when young adults were 24, 27 and 30 years of age, a team of University of Washington researchers found that nearly half the sample of 776 young adults tracked during the study met the criteria for one of these conditions at each of these time points.

"The proportion of people with all three of these conditions at any one point is small," said Carolyn McCarty, the lead author of a new study and a UW research associate professor of pediatrics and psychology. "For women there is a great deal of overlap between these common emotional and health problems that span early adulthood. Men may develop one of these conditions but they don't tend to lead another one later on."

"These conditions are major public health problems. They take a toll on families and community and are not subject to quick fixes. It requires a lot of time, money and energy to treat them."

The study found that:

Women with an alcohol disorder at age 24 were more than three times as likely to be obese when they were 27.

Women who are obese at 27 were more than twice as likely to be depressed when they were 30.

Women who are depressed at 27 were at increased risk for alcohol disorders at 30.

Obesity offers men some protection against later developing depression.

McCarty said the research did not uncover any step-by-step progression from one these disorders to another. However, she said clinicians treating women with one of these conditions should be aware that patients might develop another disorder.

McCarty said there are two possibilities as to why women with alcohol disorder at 24 were more likely to be obese at 27.

"The caloric intake associated with drinking alcohol may increase metabolic processes leading to weight gain. Or there may be an underlying connection to levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, in the reward pathway in the brain because the same pathways reward both food and alcohol intake. It also may be that some people substitute food for alcohol, leading to obesity."

She said body image may play a key role in why women who are obese at 27 are more likely to report depression three years later.

"Body image is particularly important for women. There seems to be a transfer that when women feel bad they eat more. That can have devastating effects emotionally and physically. But for men experiencing obesity, the reverse is true, and obesity seems to be protective against depression. It's the so-called 'jolly fat man' theory, which suggests that overweight people are actually happier."

The link between obesity at 27 and subsequent depression at 30 among women may develop as a result of individuals self-medicating themselves.

"People who feel more emotionally down may use alcohol for a quick lift or a short-term boost. The two conditions may be connected by an underlying stress mechanism. Stress is linked to depression, so women under stress potentially eat and drink more," she said.

The study also showed that income has a significant effect on obesity at age 24 and those with higher incomes had a lower risk for weight problem.

McCarty said that finding is not surprising since many of the least nutritional items are inexpensive, and low income areas do not have the same sources of fresh fruits and vegetables that more affluent ones have.

"It costs more to eat well," she said.

McCarty believes that intervention programs are needed and can play a key role in reducing the growing public health burden caused by these conditions.

"Early prevention is important because the sooner we start the more impact we can have. Interventions should include stress management so we can provide young people with tools to cope with situations and emotions. We also need to explore underlying factors that predispose people to these conditions, such as a family background that is not supportive or is toxic."

Data from the study was drawn from the on-going Seattle Social Development Project, which has been tracking the life course of an urban group of now young adults since 1985. The group was almost evenly split between men and women and was 47 percent white, 26 percent African-American, 22 percent Asian American and 5 percent Native American.

Co-authors of the paper are Rick Kosterman, W. Alex Mason, J. David Hawkins and Todd Herrenkohl of the Social Development Research Group in the UW's School of Social Work; Elizabeth McCauley of the UW's department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; and Liliana Lengua of the UW psychology department. The paper was published in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry. The National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute of Mental Health funded the research.

For more information, contact McCarty at 206-884-8243 or cmcarty@u.washington.edu

Joel Schwarz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases

21.08.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>