Correlation between being fat and being happy, Canadian research

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 21st November 2012

The old adage of being “jolly,” as a backhanded compliment for overweight people is now proven according to scientists at the McMaster University in Canada.

Researchers that were investigating a link between obesity and depression have found that the FTO gene, a major contributor to obesity and often labelled as the “fat gene,” is also the “happy gene.”

The Population Health Research Institute at the McMaster University analysed the genetic and psychiatric status of 17,200 participants. The study showed that the FTO “fat gene” showed significantly less signs of depression, which was later confirmed by further study.

Professor David Meyre, a researcher involved in the study said that originally the researchers thought quite the contrary, that obesity was linked to depression.

“’The difference of eight per cent is modest and it won’t make a big difference in the day-to-day care of patients. But we have discovered a novel molecular basis for depression,” Mr Meyre said.

The McMaster University research is the first evidence that an FTO obesity gene is associated with protection against major depression, independent of its effect on body mass index.

Happiness has now been directly linked to the "fat gene."