Thursday, April 5, 2012

Link between fast food, depression “confirmed”

A new study sup­ports past re­search ty­ing fast food con­sump­tion to a great­er risk of de­pres­sion.
 Pub­lished in the re­search jour­nal Pub­lic Health Nu­tri­tion, the re­sults in­di­cate that fre­quent con­sumers of fast food are 51 per­cent more likely to de­vel­op de­pres­sion than those who eat lit­tle or none of it. And “the more fast food you con­sume, the great­er the risk of de­pres­sion,” said Al­mu­dena Sán­chez-Villegas of the Uni­vers­ity of Las Pal­mas de Gran Ca­naria in Spain, the stu­dy’s lead au­thor.


A new study sup­ports past re­search show­ing that eat­ing fast food is linked to a great­er risk of de­pres­sion. (Image © Joey)


The study in­clud­ed 8,964 par­ti­ci­pants that had nev­er been di­ag­nosed with de­pres­sion or tak­en an­ti­de­pres­sants. They were as­sessed for an av­er­age of six months; dur­ing that time, 493 were di­ag­nosed with de­pres­sion or started to take an­ti­de­pres­sants.

The re­search al­so found that par­ti­ci­pants who ate the most fast food and com­mer­cially baked goods were more likely to be sin­gle, less ac­tive and have poor di­e­tary habits, which in­clud­ed eat­ing less fruit, nuts, fish, veg­eta­bles and ol­ive oil. Smok­ing and work­ing more than 45 hours per week were oth­er prev­a­lent char­ac­ter­is­tics.

The da­ta was found to sup­port re­search pub­lished last year in the jour­nal PLoS One, which recorded 657 new cases of de­pres­sion out of 12,059 peo­ple an­a­lyzed over more than six months. A 42 per­cent in­crease in de­pres­sion risk as­so­ci­at­ed with fast food was found.

“Although more stud­ies are nec­es­sary, the in­take of this type of food should be con­trolled,” Sánchez-Villegas pro­posed. He cit­ed its ef­fects for both men­tal and phys­i­cal health, in­clud­ing its es­tab­lished ten­den­cy to pro­mote obes­ity and car­di­o­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

De­pres­sion af­fects an es­ti­mat­ed 121 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide. Pre­vi­ous stud­ies sug­gest that cer­tain nu­tri­ents may help pre­vent de­pres­sion. These in­clude group B vi­ta­mins, omega-3 fat­ty acids and ol­ive oil, as well as a healthy “Mediterranean”-type di­et more gen­er­al­ly.

 
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