(HealthDay News) — People who are overweight and experiencing chronic pain may find relief in a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, according to a study published in the February issue of PAIN.

Charles Emery, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues reviewed 98 participants’ eating habits and their answers on a short questionnaire about the pain they experience. The researchers also considered the participants’ age, mental health, and use of pain medications.

The researchers found that Healthy Eating Index-2010 scores mediated the relationship between body mass index and pain. The team also found that the findings remained significant after adjusting to account for biomechanical factors, medication use, psychological distress, age, and education.

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“The data indicate that dietary intake of foods with anti-inflammatory effects mediates the relationship of body fat to body pain in healthy men and women,” the authors write.

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