Fast-Food and Commercial Baked Goods Cause Depression


Researchers in Spain followed 8.964 subjects who had never been diagnosed with depression followed for over six years, finding that consumers of fast food were 51% more likely to develop depression. At the time of the study, 493 cases were reported. “The more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression,” says Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, the lead author of the study, “… Even eating small quantities is linked to a significantly higher chance of developing depression.” The effect was found, moreover, even when adjusted for consumption of other food items. Results appear in Public Health Nutrition.

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Related items:
Press Release from Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
“You Are What You Eat” in

“Study Links Some Junk Foods to Depression” on ABC News (YouTube)
“Happy Meals Can Make You Sad” in dailyRX
“Fast Food Increases Depression Risk, Study Says” in San Francisco Chronicle
“Want to Cheer up? Stop Eating Junk Food” in NY Daily News
“Unhappy Meals: Are Fast Food, Depression Linked?” in ABC News Blogs
“Junk Food Linked With Increased Depression Risk: Study” in Huffington Post


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Has anyone bothered to look at WHY people are eating the fast food. The simple fact is that as someone who has recently began to change there diet, it is amazing to me just how nice fresh food is. But I never experienced it growing up, the few times I did have it, I didn’t know how to choose it, how to prepare it, etc. Once I was able to learn those things my whole world changed, and now I can see a role and I love fresh food. Given a choice I am begining to choose it and crave it and it does make me feel lighter and healthier and hence I guess happier. But of course the food alone did not cause me to feel how I was feeling, it was the things that led to me consuming that food that caused me to feel that way. Simply telling people to eat healthier will not do anything if people do not know HOW to do it.

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