A new study from researchers at San Diego State University suggests that eating junk food might not just make you fat–it might also lead to depression.
The researchers studied 5000 people, comparing their trans fatty acid intake to their emotional state. They found that people who consumed more trans fats had problems controlling their emotions, while people who ate fewer fatty foods were more positive and in control. This confirms another study by James E. Gangwisch, PhD, a professor at Columbia University. He and his team studied data from nearly 70,000 women and found that depression occurred more often in women whose diets ranked higher on the glycemic index, which measures how carbohydrates in foods affect blood sugar levels.
Both studies are open to interpretation and debate, since correlation does not necessarily imply causation. Folks on the Beneful squad know one hypothesis could be that people who are depressed tend to eat more sugary foods, rather than eating sugary foods leads to depression. Without further study, it’s impossible to say. The important takeaway is that having a healthy diet and exercising is vital to overall quality of life.