Spanish study links eating fast food with depression

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 2nd April 2012

A new study from the University of Granada, in Spain, shows eating fast food is linked to a greater risk of suffering from depression.

The study, which was published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, consisted of 8,964 participants that had never been diagnosed with depression or taken antidepressants. They were assessed for an average of six months, and 493 were diagnosed with depression or started to take antidepressants.

The study found that consumers of fast food, compared to those who eat little or none, are 51 per cent more likely to develop depression.

Furthermore, a dose-response relationship was observed. This means that “the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression”.

Lead author of the study, Almudena Sánchez-Villegas said the study demonstrates that those participants who eat the most fast food and commercial baked goods are more likely to be single, less active and have poor dietary habits, which include eating less fruit, nuts, fish, vegetables and olive oil. Smoking and working more than 45 hours per week are other prevalent characteristics of this group, according to the research.

Dr Sánchez-Villegas said, “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.”