Highly processed foods can increase the risk of depression

Photo credit: Unsplash+

research overview

In a landmark study from Australia, researchers have found a link between a diet high in highly processed foods and an increased risk of depression. The study, recently published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, shows that the risk of depression increases significantly when more than 30% of an individual’s daily diet consists of highly processed foods.

The research was carried out by Dr. Melissa Lane conducted as part of her doctoral thesis. Studied at the Food and Mood Center at Deakin University. dr Lane explained that the results provide further evidence of the significant harm caused by a diet of inexpensive, heavily marketed but often nutrient-poor ready meals.

What are highly processed foods?

Highly processed foods go beyond typical junk and fast foods. They also include mass-produced and highly-refined products that might be considered relatively “neutral” or even “healthy.” Examples include diet soft drinks, some fruit juices and flavored yogurts, margarine, packaged foods such as scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes, and many ready-to-heat, ready-to-eat pasta dishes.

The study

In cooperation with dr. Priscila Machado of the Deakin’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) and Associate Professor Allison Hodge of Cancer Council Victoria studied Dr. Lane investigated the links between processed food consumption and depression in over 23,000 Australians from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study.

The study found that Australians who ate the most highly processed foods had about a 23% higher risk of depression than those who ate the least. The study looked at people who had initially stopped taking medication for depression and anxiety for a period of 15 years.

dr Lane pointed out that even after accounting for factors such as smoking, lower education, income and physical activity – all of which are associated with poor health outcomes – the results clearly showed that higher consumption of highly processed foods was associated with a higher risk of depression .

Implications and future directions

While the study doesn’t prove that highly processed foods directly cause depression, it does show that eating more highly processed foods is linked to an increased risk of depression.

Depression is one of the most prevalent mental disorders worldwide, significantly affecting daily life and general well-being through persistent lack of energy, changes in appetite and sleep, loss of interest or joy, sadness, and sometimes suicidal thoughts.

“Identifying critical levels of consumption that may increase the risk of depression will help consumers, health professionals, and policymakers make more informed decisions about dietary choices, public health interventions, and strategies,” said Dr. Lane.

The team hopes this study will help promote mental wellbeing and guide efforts to prevent or reduce the prevalence, development and symptom severity of depression in the community.

If you are interested in depression, please read the relevant studies Eating a vegetarian diet can increase your risk of depression. And Vitamin D could help relieve symptoms of depression.

Further information on the subject of health can be found in current studies Highly processed foods can make you feel depressed. and some blood pressure medications can help relieve depression.

The study was published in the Journal of Mood Disorders.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Back to top button