It’s official: Fast food is linked to depression
Washington: Eating commercial baked goods like fairy cakes, croissants, doughnuts, and fast food like hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza is linked to depression, a new study has revealed.
According to the recent study headed by scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada, the results reveal that consumers of fast food, compared to those who eat little or none, are 51 percent more likely to develop depression.
Furthermore, a dose-response relationship was observed. In other words this means that “the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression,” explains Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, lead author of the study.
The study demonstrates that those participants who eat the most fast food and commercial baked goods are more likely to be single, less active and have poor dietary habits, which include eating less fruit, nuts, fish, vegetables and olive oil
Smoking and working more than 45 hours per week are other prevalent characteristics of this group.
With regard to the consumption of commercial baked goods, the results are equally conclusive.
“Even eating small quantities is linked to a significantly higher chance of developing depression,” Sanches-Vellegas said.
The study sample belonged to the SUN Project (University of Navarra Diet and Lifestyle Tracking Program). It consisted of 8,964 participants that had never been diagnosed with depression or taken antidepressants.
They were assessed for an average of six months, and 493 were diagnosed with depression or started to take antidepressants.
This new data supports the results of the SUN project in 2011, which were published in the PLoS One journal.
The project recorded 657 new cases of depression out of the 12,059 people analysed over more than six months. A 42 percent increase in the risk associated with fast food was found, which is lower than that found in the current study.
Sanchez-Villegas concludes, “although more studies are necessary, the intake of this type of food should be controlled because of its implications on both health (obesity, cardiovascular diseases) and mental well-being.”
The study has been published in the Public Health Nutrition journal.