A Diet High In Junk Food Raises Depression Risks, According To Researchers

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Researchers have analyzed data from 11 prior studies which focused on the correlation between depression and pro-inflammatory diets. These studies encompassed over 100,000 participants of various ages between 16 -and 72-years-old. Gender and ethnicity varied as well, and so did location, as the individuals spanned across the United States, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East, reports Medical Xpress. The results showed that diets rich in fast food, junk food, and other processed foods did, in fact, raise one’s risk of developing depression.

These researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University recorded the presence of depression as well as the beginning depressive symptoms in all participants. The research was done through self-observation, medical diagnoses, and the presence of antidepressant use. The people involved in the study were given an assigned score or exactly how inflammatory his or her diet was according to dietary indexes, cites Medical Xpress.

Dr. Steven Bradburn from the Bioscience Research Center at Manchester Metropolitan’s School of Healthcare Science has made his remarks about the results of this study on depression and junk food consumption.

“These results have tremendous clinical potential for the treatment of depression, and if it holds true, other diseases such as Alzheimer’s which also have an underlying inflammatory component. Simply changing what we eat may be a cheaper alternative to pharmacological interventions, which often come with side-effects. This work builds on recent advances in the field by others, including the first ever clinical trial into dietary interventions for treating depression, which have shown beneficial improvements in depressive symptoms. It should be stressed, however, that our findings are an association, rather than causality. Further work is needed to confirm the efficacy of modulating dietary patterns in treating depression with relation to inflammation.”

The results showed that a Mediterranean diet of olive oil, tomatoes, green vegetables, and fattier fish can help lower depression symptoms. An anti-inflammatory diet which contains high fiber, Vitamins A, C, and D, and has low to no unsaturated fat content, could, in fact, possibly be implemented as a treatment for depression.

Those wishing to read more about the study can find it, titled “An Anti-inflammatory Diet As A Potential Intervention For Depressive Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” published in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) cites various current statistics of anxiety and depression, stating that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, and affects approximately 40 million adults in the United States who are ages 18 and older, that is, 18.1 percent of the entire population every year. They also site major depressive disorder as the leading cause of disability in the United States between the ages of 15 and 43.