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Junk food and depression

Over the year there have been various medical studies looking into the links between junk food and depression. What has consistently emerged is the undeniable fact that over indulging in junk food can lead to depression. Unfortunately, this is often reciprocated, as people who are suffering depression often turn to junk food for a quick fix.

Why can junk food depress people?

When examining the relationship between junk food and depression, it’s important to appreciate the insidious nature of depressive illness. When someone is suffering from depression there will be complex underlying issues. They might comfort eat as a short-term way of making them feel better, or in a great many cases they seek solace in something stronger, like alcohol or drugs.

This canbecome a vicious circle, especially with junk food. By its very nature, junk food is readily accessible, requiring little in the way of preparation. There can be few more convenient ways of satisfying a hunger than driving to a fast-food outlet, ordering a meal through an intercom, then eating it minutes later. What medical studies have found is that these fast food consumers are around 50% more likely to develop depression than those who eat little or none. According to survey results published in Public Health Nutrition journal,the more junk food consumed, the greater the risk of depression.

There are other demographic trends associated with junk food eating. Studies have demonstrated that those eating the most fast food are more likely to be single and less active. Junk food is also more prevalent amongst smokers, or those who work more than 45 hours a week.

Wider health implications of junk food

Depression is widely regarded as one of the main causes of disability-adjusted lifestyles across the world. This is even more prevalent in those nations with low or medium income. While science still can’t fully explain why there should be a link between junk food and depression, it has unearthed some nutrients that prevent its onset, such as olive oil, B vitamins, and mega-3 fatty acids.

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