Fast food not only makes you fat, it also contributes to depression
You already know that the McLarge burger youre stuffing in your face isnt healthy foryou. What you may not know, however, is that all that fast food is doing more than just
expanding your waistline - it could be giving you a serious case of depression as well.A study of some 8,964 people found that eating junk and fast food has a negative effecton mental health.Some of our American favorites - burgers, pizza, hot dogs - are on the list of fast or non-nutritional foods that contribute to a darker mood. In fact, the study found that peoplewho eat those foods often were 51 percent more likely to become depressed, asevidenced by webmd.com, among other signs and symptoms.Even small quantities are bad for youThe study also found that those most likely to over-indulge in such unhealthy fare weresingle, less physically active, smokers and those who worked more than 45 hours perweek.Researchers, whose data have been published in the Journal of Public Health Nutrition,found that of the nearly 9,000 people studied over a six-month period, 493 werediagnosed with clinical depression or otherwise began taking anti-depressants. Peoplewith extremely high or low daily caloric intake, or had obesity-related diseases, wereexcluded from the study.Dr. Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, lead researcher from the University of Las Palmas deGran Canaria in Grenada, said data found that commercially baked foods producesimilarly depressive effects."Even eating small quantities is linked to a significantly higher chance ofdeveloping depression," she said. "Although more studies are necessary, the intake ofthis type of food should be controlled because of its implications on both health(obesity, cardiovascular diseases) and mental well-being."Sanchez-Villegas noted that her findings were similar to earlier studies that found acorrelation between higher intake of fast food and depression.Her research supports the results of the SUN project in 2011, which were published in
the PloS One journal. That six-month study of 12,059 people found 657 new cases ofdepression; in all, the study recorded a 42 percent increase in the risk of depressionassociated with fast food.Vicious cycleThere are lots of problems and issues associated with poor diets, not the least of whichare health problems - obesity, diabetes, cardiac disease, high blood pressure and anincreased risk of stroke, to name a few.But there is an added element of risk for those who seek relief from their food-causeddepression by taking anti-depressant medications. Thats because other studies haveshown that taking medications for depression can actually increase depression andsuicidal tendencies - a finding that is also backed by the Food and Drug Administration."Drug labels contain 70 negative side-effects on average. Even very regularly prescribeddrugs can have 100 negative side-effects, with some drugs lurking up around 525negative side-effects. Suicidal thoughts leading to an increased risk of suicide is just oneof those side-effects to look out for, following the very last possible side effects - death,"says a report in Natural Society.Regarding the apparent link between fast food and depression, researchers arent sure ifone causes the other, or vice versa. Certainly people who are obese can becomedepressed about their condition, but its not clear if unhealthy diets which are causingtheir obesity are also causing their depression, say scientists.What is clear, though, is that a poor diet and increased incidents of depression arerelated, and that should be just one more reason to drive by the drive-through and getyourself a healthy meal somewhere else.