A new University of Nebraska-Lincoln study has found that missed meals in childhood can be connected to experiencing pain and depression in adulthood.
The study, led by UNL sociologist Bridget Goosby looks at how childhood socioeconomic disadvantages and maternal depression increase the risk of chronic pain and major depression in adults. Nearly 4,500 adults were part of the study, with the age range between 25 to 64 years.
Goosby said pain and depression are biologically linked in medical literature and childhood conditions are strongly correlated with the risk of experiencing depression.
“The most robust child socioeconomic condition was experiencing hunger. Kids who missed meals have a much higher risk of experiencing pain and depression in adulthood,” she said.
The study also found that maternal depression mattered. If your mother had major depression, you are at a higher risk for depression and physical pain.
With this information, Goosby hopes policymakers will look more closely at circumstances in early childhood. “They can use this information to say we have growing evidence that childhood circumstances affect adult health outcomes.” Science Daily 2/7/13