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Junk food may cause depression: Study

Burgers, stuffed chicken rolls and French fries may taste good, but high consumption of processed junk food not only makes you obese, it could contribute to depression, says a new research.

health and fitness Updated: Jan 18, 2010 18:44 IST

Junk food

Burgers, stuffed chicken rolls and French fries may taste good, but high consumption of processed junk food not only makes you obese, it could contribute to depression, says a new research.



A team of British and French epidemiologists, whoanalysed food and mood data from 3,486 men and women, claimed they've uncovered a true cause-and-effect relationship.



"Our finding shows a strong association between diet and depressive symptoms after controlling for a large range of socio-demographic factors, and for health behaviours such as smoking, physical activity, and health status," said lead researcher Tasnime Akbaraly of National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Montpellier, France.



While it's possible that a healthy diet is a marker of some other factor that protects against depression, "the effect of diet on depressive symptoms didn't go down after weadjusted for other indicators of a healthy lifestyle, such assmoking, physical activity, and body mass," he said.



For their study, the researchers asked each of theparticipants (all aged around 55) how often they had eaten a designated portion size of a food during the previous year and recorded answers that ranged from 'never' to 'six or more times a day', the MSNBC reported.



That data was then converted to a daily intake and two dietary patterns were identified: the "whole food pattern" (defined by a high daily intake of vegetables, fruits, and fish) and the "processed food pattern" (characterised by high consumption of junk food).