Researchers in Spain claim that depression is 51 percent more likely to occur in people who consume large amounts of fast food — like hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza — compared to those who don’t, according to ABC News. And don’t forget about other junk food items, like doughnuts and croissants. They are also linked to mood problems.
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Researchers at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada followed more than 8,960 people who had never been diagnosed with depression or taken antidepressants, reported PressTV. They also said that people who eat fast food regularly are more likely to have other unhealthy habits, which are tied to higher depression risk.
"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," study researcher Almudena Sánchez-Villegas said in a statement to the Huffington Post.
Experts also suggest that it may not be the food causing the depression, but that the depression may be causing people to eat the food.
"Higher intake of fast food may very well increase risks of depression by causing poor health in general," said Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center to ABC News. "But depression may also increase fast food intake."
"We use the term 'comfort food' for a reason," he added. "It can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. So it may be that people with depression are turning to [fast food] for relief."