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4 Surprising Effects of Fast Food

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2. Down in the Dumps? Blame It on the Junk
Spurlock also complained of debilitating depression during his fast-food experiment, and research shows that junk food does indeed have an effect on mood. Researchers at University College London in England found that people who regularly ate processed foods that were high in fat and sugar were 58 percent more likely to suffer from depression than those who ate a more balanced diet, according to a study that appeared in the British Journal of Psychiatry. “There seem to be various aspects of lifestyle such as taking exercise which also matter, but it appears that diet is playing an independent role,” Dr. Eric Brunner, lead author of the study, told the Daily Mail.

Brunner and his peers concluded that relative to their calorie density, junk foods lack nutrients, like antioxidants, folate, and omega-3s, that contribute to good mental health. These important dietary elements come only from eating “wholesome foods.”

According to, certain foods and drinks act as powerful stimulants to the body and therefore contribute to stress and mood disorders. These processed foods—which contain synthetic additives like preservatives, emulsifiers, thickeners, stabilizers, and flavor enhancers—are called pseudostressors or sympathomimetics.

So it seems that fast food hits us twice when it comes to depression; we suffer from what we consume along with it, and from what we don’t.

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Read more: Children, Depression, Diabetes, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Mental Wellness, , ,

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11:20PM PST on Feb 5, 2014

The problem is the chemicals

5:19PM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

This post deserves a larger audience.

11:46AM PDT on Aug 15, 2012


1:25PM PDT on Apr 27, 2012

Fast food makes me sick to my stomach. But never thought of it as a form of birth control!

6:42PM PDT on Jun 21, 2011


4:47AM PDT on May 30, 2011

I'm really surprised about the link between fast food and depression. But emotional eating is something I know a lot of people suffer from. I laughed so hard at the make babies, not burgers!

5:23PM PDT on May 25, 2011

I love reading your articles. Excellent blog. Thanks for sharing.

10:34PM PDT on May 3, 2011

They say the first veggi kids eat are potatoes in the form of french fries

2:25PM PDT on May 1, 2011

I'm amazed! Although the majority of people do not eat only fast food for 30 days. Most people eat it occasionally, not daily. I don't see any problems with eating it.

5:55AM PDT on Apr 26, 2011

Just a comment for dve.d regarding the remarks made about bread, meat etc. What you do not realise is that the fast food franchises pack this food with salt, sugar, fat and preservatives which are very damaging to your health and body. If you make the same foods at home they are natural and healthy as you stated. The fast food outlets are also amongs some of the biggest polluters. Think of all that packaging most of which is not biodegradable......

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