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Processed food raises depression risks

People who eat a diet laden with processed and high-fat foods, like sweetened desserts, fried food and refined grains, faced a greater risk of depression, according to a study led by an Indian-origin researcher.

world Updated: Nov 03, 2009 01:21 IST

People who eat a diet laden with processed and high-fat foods, like sweetened desserts, fried food and refined grains, faced a greater risk of depression, according to a study led by an Indian-origin researcher.

While vegetables, fruit and fish lower the risk of depression, processed food diet such as sweetened desserts, fried food, refined grains and high-fat dairy products increases the risk, British Journal of Psychiatry reported on Monday.

Researchers at the University College London said, “It is not yet clear why some foods may protect against or increase the risk of depression but scientists think there may be a link with inflammation as with conditions such as heart disease”.

“Those who ate the most whole foods had a 26 per cent lower risk of future depression than those who ate the least whole foods. By contrast people with a diet high in processed food had a 58 per cent higher risk of depression than those who ate very few processed foods,” study author Dr Archana Singh-Manoux said.

After accounting for factors such as gender, age, smoking habits and chronic diseases, researchers found a significant difference in future depression risk with the different diets.