Eating fast food makes us sad says latest research.

Eating fast food such as burgers, croissants, pizza, sausage rolls etc has been linked with depression.

The study was conducted by scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada.  Incredibly they found a 51% increase in depression amongst those who eat fast food compared to those who eat little or none.

Also reported in the Public Health Nutrition Journal was that the more fast food is consumed, the greater the risk is to develop depression.

Interestingly, the study found that if you are single, less active and are not great with good eating habits, including eating less fruit and vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil you are far more likely to indulge in fast food and commercially baked goods.  Within this group it was also found that they are more likely to smoke and work more than 45 hours per week.

Speaking of commercial baked goods, Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, lead author of the study, said: “Even eating small quantities is linked to a significantly higher chance of developing depression.”

The study consisted of 8,964 participants that had neither been diagnosed with depression or taken antidepressants. They were evaluated for an average of six months after which 493 were diagnosed with depression or started to take antidepressants.

The study found 657 newly diagnosed cases of depression out of the 12,059 people who agreed to take part in the study over a period of 6 months.  A 42% increase in the risk associated with fast food was found, which is marginally lower than that found in other studies though the results with this study were close to the findings in other studies of this nature.

Sánchez-Villegas said that “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.”

Depression affects 121 million people worldwide.  Not much is known in the role that diet plays in the sometimes severe and debilitating illness of depression. Other studies have shown that some nutrients are essential in prevention of all sorts of diseases.  These include group B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil.  The Mediterranean diet is well documented as being healthy and the insentiences of heart disease, diabetes and depression are far lower than in the UK.

The results of this study are worrying but at the same time logical.  We are all living lives of convenience and our bodies clearly don’t like it.  

If you are suffering from depression at any level, perhaps the firs thing that should be addressed is healthy eating.  Changing our habits can be a challenge but one that is really worth doing it it gets you somewhat out the pit of depression.  Start slowly.  You really can see dramatic changes within a few weeks if you give it a shot!