University of Cincinnati
February 1, 2010
By Jayna Barker | The News Record
Burgers, french fries and pizza might taste good, but consumption of processed junk food is not only bad for the waistline, but also for mental health.
A new study in The British Journal of Psychiatry suggests eating junk food is likely to cause depression.
British and French epidemiologists — scientists who study diseases and pathogens — analyzed food and mood data from 3,486 men and women.
The participants were asked about the type of food they ate and the size of the portions during the previous year.
The data was then converted to a daily intake and two dietary patterns were determined: the “whole food pattern” (a high daily intake of healthy fruits, vegetables and fish) and the “processed food pattern” (a diet consisting of lots of sweetened desserts, chocolates, fried food, processed meat, refined grains, high-fat dairy products and condiments).
Five years later, the same participants filled out a questionnaire that measured symptoms of depression. The scientists found high consumption of the processed foods was more likely to lead to depression, while people who ate healthier were less likely to be depressed.