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by Harmony Heffron

Being depressed and having weight issues frequently go hand in hand for women.  A study by the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle shows that helping women fight depression may also help them fight obesity. The lead author of this study, Gregory Simon, M.D. said, “Increased physical activity leads to improvement in depression and improvement in depression leads to increased physical activity. We see in our study that they go together, but we can’t say which causes which.”

The women studied in this experiment were divided into groups, one only focused on losing weight and the other focused on losing weight and healing depression.

After six months of treatment the two groups showed a marked difference in their response to treatment. In the group that was treated for depression, 19% more women, compared to the group solely focused on weight loss, showed a weight loss over 5%.

This study is a great reminder that, more often than not, a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. A lot of people try to be happy by losing weight or getting fit, but it may be just as effective to become happier in order to get in shape. In the end, a balanced focus on both mental and physical health can’t be beat.

Remember, when all is said and done, laughter is the best medicine.

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