New Study: Fast Food Makes You Sad

People who routinely eat fast food are 51 percent more likely to suffer from depression, compared to those who limit their intake of Big Macs, fries and the like or who don’t eat any of that stuff all. 8,964 people who had never been diagnosed with depression or who had never taken antidepressants were assessed for an average of six months by researchers the from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada. 493 were diagnosed with depression or had started to take antidepressants.

A regular diet of pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs was not the only culprit. The researchers also found that consumption of commercial baked goods such as croissants and doughnuts also led to people being more likely to suffer from depression. In addition, they noted what Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, an author of the study, says in Science Daily is a “dose-response relationship,” that “the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression.”

The researchers have published their findings in Public Health Nutrition.

It seems no surprise that eating too many fries and Munchkins and drinking Coolattas and soda instead of plain old water would make you feel bad. Such meals (if you can call them that) provide instant pleasure (thanks to plenty of sugar, salt and fat) but provide little nutrition and can even lead to you still feeling hungry, despite having consumed a significant amount of calories.

Even more, with the evidence for why fast food is bad for you piling up, how can we get people not to eat it and to eat more healthfully? Fast food is certainly popular among teenagers and, as many parents (myself included) of teenagers know, one of the best ways to get a child to eat something you don’t want them to (a Big Mac, for instance) is to say “that is so unhealthy and you will feel worse afterwards.”

Happy Meals should really be called Unhappy Meals: Yes, fast food is bad for us. How can we use the findings of the Public Health Nutrition study to wean kids (and others) from fast food and not only eat more healthfully, but just feel better?

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Photo by phil denton


William C
William C8 months ago


W. C
W. C9 months ago

Thank you for the article.

Jim Ven
Jim Vabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Mark Bill
Past Member 2 years ago

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Nicole Pauline Sedkowski
Nicole Sedkowski5 years ago

I think if they introduced to the homemade equivalent of those foods they'll be more inclined to eat healthily. Don't comment on the merrits of what you're giving them. Just announce that you're making burgers and serve up some home made burgers that are made from actual food make fries from actual potatoes and a side helping of carrot and cucomber sticks. Get those veggies without even thinking too much of it. Same with pizza, tacos and nuggets.After learning that the home made variety is indeed best they'll be more inclined to eat at home and try more of the food you make. Case in point, it worked on my brother and I. Oh we stilleat fast food from time to time but thats only once in a very blue moon. The only places I semi frequent which serve even a semblance of fast food are Sunset and my local bagel shop. Still if I have the time and ingriedients I frefers to make my own. And mom's food is still the best.

Jessica Nielsen
Jessica Nielsen5 years ago

Patty B has it right. Did the study take all factors into account? I eat fast food, but that's because I live alone and I can make a pizza meal (wings, breadsticks, pizza) that costs $18 last for three days because I eat one meal a day. That's a significantly cheaper option some weeks than going out for groceries that will sit in my fridge and spoil because I can't cook a ton of food or I'm sick (again, thank you death curse of autoimmunity) and I don't feel like standing up to cook.

I'm not depressed. I'm tired a lot because of all the drugs I'm on (every label says 'may cause drowsiness' and I have sleeping issues due to breathing problems) but I'm not depressed. People love me and love being around me at work because I'm totally not depressed.

But OMG I eat fast food and greasy food when I cook.


Pamela LaVeille
Pamela L5 years ago

This article difinitely makes sense. Thanks for sharing.

Arild Warud

Just stay away from Fast Food.

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim5 years ago

Somehow, I don't get surprised by all the bad things fast food causes anymore. It seems that the more we research, the more we confirm that it's bad for you... I hope one day people will want better than that.

Gina Caracci
Gina Caracci5 years ago

thx for the story..
interesting comments