Although it is not a novelty that fast food is not healthful for humans, according to a new study, junk food leads to increased risks of depression. As reported by the researchers, junk food, the world’s leading cause of obesity, makes consumers depressed.
Obesity is the leading cause of heart diseases and other medical conditions such as colon cancer, among others, that can be fatal. Overweight and obesity are both mainly triggered by reckless eating habits and junk food. Adopting a healthy and balanced diet can counteract the harmful effects of obesity, if it’s already installed, or prevent its occurrence.
An international team of researchers from the UK, Spain, and Australia studied data from 41 multi-country previous studies and concluded that fast food, along with unhealthily eating habits, leads to chronic inflammation which is the main cause of clinical depression. The research is not the first one to connect junk food with inflammation, but it’s among the few ones directly link it to depression.
Junk Food Boosts The Risks Of Depression
Processed meat, food rich in fats, and sugar-rich foods or sodas are leading to inflammation at the level of the digestive system. Eventually, the inflammation affects the brain, too, altering the functions of the neurotransmitters that are responsible for the mood, setting the ground for depression.
More interesting, the scientists said that junk food is also affecting individuals with an average weight, even though they do not consume it daily. Also, the researchers noted that the systemic inflammation caused by fast food is similar to that triggered by obesity, lack of physical exercises, and air pollution.
The researchers also encourage health officials to offer dietary advice to patients with depression since their eating habits might be the source for this mental condition. Also, the new study pointed out that a balanced diet would reduce the depressive episodes significantly.
In the US, for example, nearly 17 million residents have at least one major depressive episode in a year.