New evidence from a recent study has revealed that there is a link between carrying extra fat on the body and depression. It also pointed out that this problem exists in men, whose weight doesn’t receive as much attention by the media as that of women.

A growing percentage of both adults and children in the developed world are either overweight or obese, to the point that many experts and organizations are beginning to call it epidemic. This could be a great deal more problematic than previously thought if the recent research is correct and it is linked to depression. This would suggest that obesity’s risks of harm are not purely physical.

The research team was led by Anne Turner from Deakin University in Australia. They may have identified one of the biological explanations that can cause overeating. Turner reported that some overweight and obese men experience cortisol secretion simply as a result of the act of eating. Cortisol is a hormone related to stress.

The data presented from the study was considerable. She stated that among men who were obese or overweight, there was a 51 percent elevation in salivary cortisol. Comparatively, there was a 5 percent increase in cortisol among men who were more lean.

Turner explained that “If overweight/obese men have an elevated cortisol response every time they ingest food, they may be more susceptible to the development of stress-related disease.” This can be made worse by the fact that many people cope with stress by eating more. Many people seek the comfort in consuming foods that they like when their stress levels are high. For men who are obese or overweight, this could mean that they are caught in a vicious cycle of eating and building their stress levels and so on.

Cortisol increases are among the most common biological causes of anxiety that is connected with depression. This suggests that the continually heightened levels of cortisol in men who are obese and overweight, which are caused simply by eating food, could lead them to have a growing risk of depression.

Further research has shown that dieting – when done properly and in a way suited to men – can also help to keep spirits up. Though men don’t like diets where they continually weight themselves or have to count calories, they are often successful when they slightly reduce their intake overall and greatly reduce their intake on two days per week.