Next time you're stuffing your face with a limp fast food burger or hot dog, ask yourself: Is it really making you happy? I mean, really? Not according to new research it isn't; in fact, eating junk food is linked to far higher rates of depression.
The study, carried out at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, suggests that people who eat junk food are 51 per cent more likely to develop depression than those that don't. The study also shows that those eating junk food — such as hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza — are more likely to be single, less active and work longer. So, depression's hardly a surprising trait to round things off. Speaking to Medical Express, Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, one of the researchers, explains that the quantity of junk food is also important:
"[T]he more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression... [but] even eating small quantities is linked to a significantly higher chance of developing depression."
The research, which is published in Public Health Nutrition, involved 8964 healthy participants. They were assessed for six months, in which time 493 were diagnosed with some form of depression.
The scientists aren't exactly sure what might be responsible for the link between junk food and depression, but previous studies suggest that a lack of certain nutrients — such as group B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil — could be to blame. Or cheese dust-coated fingers making life an orange-ish hell. [Public Health Nutrition via Medical Express]