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Fast Food Linked to Depression

A new study published in Public Health Nutrition found that individuals who regularly eat fast food and commercial baked goods are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who do not.

The study followed nearly 9,000 participants for a period of six months as part of the University of Navarra Diet and Lifestyle Tracking Program, monitoring a number of dietary and other lifestyle factors. The study found a dose-response relationship between fast food consumption and depression, meaning the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression.

Even eating small quantities of fast food or commercial baked goods was linked to a “significantly higher chance of developing depression,” according to the study’s lead author.

These findings are in line with previous research linking trans fat consumption to aggression, and consumption of a Western diet with depression and anxiety.

Study findings led researchers to conclude that “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.”

Other researchers have noted that higher intakes of fast food may be linked to depression by causing poor health in general. There may also be a cyclical relationship between the two, with fast food intake contributing to depression, and depression increasing fast food intake.

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