Poor ole Santa.
For all these years, we thought that he was jolly and full of Christmas (sorry, Seasonal Holiday) Cheer.
Little did we know, he has a dark secret.
Santa suffers from obesity, type 2 diabetes, clinical depression and may even have a drinking problem.
But how could we have known?
It really isn’t too surprising.
In a recent study, scientists in the Netherlands have proven that a link exists between abdominal obesity and depression.
And Santa does have a bit of a belly.
How about you?
In this 5 year study, Dutch researchers found that “older adults with symptoms of depression appear more likely to gain abdominal fat”. Interestingly, in this study, the link applies only to abdominal fat, not overall body fat.
Well, that certainly messes with Coca-Cola’s Christmas marketing plan, doesn’t it.
What are we supposed to do with a depressed Santa Claus?
Get him a prescription for antidepressants?
Buy him some personal training sessions?
Lap Band surgery?
According to the experts, “There are several mechanisms by which depression might increase abdominal fat. Chronic stress and depression may activate certain brain areas and lead to increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which promotes the accumulation of visceral fat”.
“Individuals with depression may have unhealthier lifestyles, including a poor diet, that could interact with other physiological factors to produce an increase in abdominal obesity”.
Depression may indeed be a cause of abdominal obesity.
Depression may lead to increased cortisol which may lead to increased abdominal obesity.
- A typical 21st century lifestyle is loaded with stress
- Stress is linked to anxiety and depression
- The typical Western diet is a primary cause of systemic inflammation
- Inflammation is linked to abdominal obesity
- Depression often results in physical inactivity and unhealthy lifestyle choices
Perhaps, it isn’t the depression causing the obesity.
Perhaps it isn’t the obesity causing the depression.
Perhaps it is the combination of a stressful lifestyle, combined with a whole host of poor lifestyle choices that is causing the obesity and the depression.
But then again, what do I know?