Fast Food Linked to Depression: Weightloss and Good Eating Habits Improve Mental Health

Just about everyone has gone through a fast food drive-thru at some point in his or her life. For many these restaurants offer a quick solution to a meal as the day fills up with meetings, play dates and other appointments.

The health implications of fast food are no secret, but a new study gives yet another reason to stray away from the drive-thru lane. A recent study shows people who consume fast food are more likely to battle depression.

The study details

Scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada say consumers of fast food, compared to those who eat little or none, are 51% more likely to develop depression.

In this study, fast food isn’t just defined as a greasy hamburger or chicken sandwich in a paper bag, processed baked goods count as fast food as well. Items like fairy cakes, croissants, and doughnuts are also considered fast food.

“The more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression,” explains Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, lead author of the study, to SINC.

The study goes on to say, “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.”

Eating habits and mental health

At this point, little is known about the role eating habits play on mental health. Previous studies show certain nutrients can prevent mental problems like depression, but more studies are needed to confirm this.

Sánchez-Villegas concludes 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.”

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