Fast Food Diet Increases Risk of Depression by More Than Fifty Percent

Spanish researchers noted that the link between depression and deficiencies in health-promoting nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins has been studied extensively.

But the researchers wanted to determine if unhealthy foods could also contribute to depression.

Their study, which featured 8,964 participants who were followed up for an average of 6.2 years, showed that consumption of fast foods and processed baked goods increased the chances of depression.

In this study, which was published in the March 2012 issue of the journal Public Health Nutrition, fast foods included hamburgers, sausages and pizza, and baked goods included muffins, doughnuts and croissants. Study participants who ate the most fast foods and processed baked goods were 51 percent more likely to develop depression compared to people who ate the fewest amount of these foods. 

People who had obesity-related diseases were not allowed to participate in the study. The researchers note that it is not known if high levels of these unhealthy foods lead to depression or if the depression causes people to eat unhealthily, but they do know that the two go hand in hand.

This recent study correlates with a previous study that was published in January 2011 in PLoS One. In that study, there was a 42 percent increase in the risk of depression in people who ate a diet high in fast foods.

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