Study Finds That There Could Be A Connection Between Teenage Depression And Fast Food

Helen Storms

Teenage depression is an issue that's been on the rise in the United States in recent years. In fact, the rate of major aggressive episodes in kids that are between the age of 12-years-old and 17-years-old has risen a disheartening 52 percent from 2005 to 2017. Obviously, there has to be a hidden cause behind this sudden influx. Many believe social media and bullying could be to blame, and these things are most certainly factors in certain instances. However, a new study found that diet may also play a much larger role in mental health than ever known before, according to CNN.

It's not new information that many teenagers don't eat as well as they should. They are still in the process of growing and likely find themselves hungry most of the time. In addition, they might not have yet really learned how to maintain a healthy diet and could enjoy stopping by the local fast food joints with their friends. But a study that came from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that the chemicals in fast food can actually be linked to signs of depression later on.

Sylvie Mrug is the lead author of the study and the chair of the psychology department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She explained what the foods are that are most likely to contain high levels of sodium.

"High sodium, you've got to think of highly processed food. This includes fast food, frozen meals and unhealthy snacks."

"The study findings make sense, as potassium-rich foods are healthy foods. So, if adolescents include more potassium-rich foods in their diet, they will likely have more energy and feel better overall -- which can lead to a better sense of well-being and improved mental health," Drayer said.