By Camille Bianchi

Girls who are obese from adolescence to adulthood are more likely to have a mood disorder, according to newly released study 1135 girls over a twenty-year period.

The majority of participants who were overweight throughout the study term were diagnosed with low self-esteem and depression.

Lead researcher Kristy Sanderson, of the University of Tasmania, says the study is the first to link obesity with clinical diagnosis of mental illness.

“Overweight or obese girls who were able to attain a healthy weight when they were an adult, they didn’t have an increased risk of depression,”  she said.

Researchers found men did not relate obesity to self esteem to the same degree, and women are at greater risk of mental disorders than men.