Being overweight — or simply believing they are overweight — might predispose some U.S. teens to suicide attempts, according to a new study.

The study looked at more than 14,000 high school students to determine the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and suicide attempts, as well as the relationship between believing one is overweight — whether true or not —and suicide attempts.

“Our findings show that both perceived and actual overweight increase risk for suicide attempt,” said lead study author Monica Swahn, Ph.D. That association was as strong for boys as for girls, contrary to what the researchers had originally expected.

Teens who believed they were overweight were at greater risk for suicide attempts compared to those who did not believe they were overweight. Similarly, teens with a BMI that indicated they were indeed overweight were more likely to be at risk for suicide attempts. Those who perceived themselves as overweight and who actually had BMIs that put them into the “overweight” or “obese” category also were at greater risk.

Source: Science Daily

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520064349.htm