Loading...
Fast Food

Fast Food, Baked Goods Linked to Depression

Comments (0)

By

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 12:00 PM
click to enlarge Pizza, how depressing - FLICKR/JEFFREYW

Eating commercial baked goods and fast food can make you depressed, according to a new study. Scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada in Spain found that consumers of foods such as doughnuts, croissants, hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza were 51% more likely to develop depression than those who consume little or none.

A dose-response relationship was observed, meaning "the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression," explained Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, lead author of the study, which was published in the journal Public Health Nutrition. However, "Even eating small quantities is linked to a significantly higher chance of developing depression."

The study found that those 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. They also tend to smoke and work more than 45 hours per week.

The study sample consisted of 8,964 participants who had never been diagnosed with depression or taken antidepressants. They were assessed for an average of six months, and 493 were diagnosed with depression or started to take antidepressants.

This new data supports the results of a similar project in 2011, which were published in the PLoS One journal. That project recorded 657 new cases of depression out of the 12,059 people tracked over more than six months.

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."

Little is known about the role that diet plays in developing depressive disorders, but previous studies suggest that certain nutrients could play a preventative role. These include B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil -- all of which are lacking in a diet high in fast food and commercial baked goods.

And no, ordering olives on your pizza is not the solution.


Follow Samantha Bonar @samanthabonar.

Related Content

Now Trending

Slideshows

  • Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar
    Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar, with chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, is in the two buildings at the pier’s entrance that used to be Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby’s Diner. Those buildings, which have been overhauled completely, reflect both the pier’s 109-year-old history and the cultural import of Malibu itself.
  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.
  • Milo's Kitchen: A Treat Truck for Dogs
    Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.