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Baked and junk foods affect mental health http://www.punchng.

com/feature/baked-and-junk-foods-affect-mental-health-study/ GBENGA ADENIJI writes on a recent study which suggests that people who eat baked or junk food are at risk of mental depression For some people, anything is eatable so far it will fill the stomach and keep t hem going. The eating habit of such individuals is so bad that they even care le ss the condition under which the food is prepared. Baked and junk food can even be said to be the favourite of many. But healthwise, there is danger ahead for such people as a new research conduct ed by scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Unive rsity of Granada has disclosed that both junk food and fast food cause depressio n. The study, published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, states that that th ose consuming fast food such as hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza are 51 per cent mo re likely to be depressed than those consuming very little or none of the health -damaging food. It also shows that depression risk increases with the more fast food and junk fo od consumed. The study sample involved 8,964 participants, all of whom have neve r been diagnosed with depression and have never taken any medication for depress ion. After a six-month assessment, 493 became diagnosed with depression or began taking antidepressant medications which have previously been shown to actually make depression even worse. According to the study, the findings support what the SUN project, a lifestyle t racking programme, discovered in 2011 where a 42 per cent increase in depression risk was found with those consuming fast food. It adds that the increase in ri sk was just as high with the consumption of baked edibles and junk food. The researchers further suggest, Fast food is loaded with health-wrecking ingredie nts, while the food itself is cooked in the most unhealthy manner possible. The meat used is conventional, and thus loaded with antibiotics, growth hormones, an d up until recently was loaded with ammonia-treated pink slime scrap meat. The study also states that apart from depression, fast food and junk food can tr igger extreme addiction and brain damage. It states, Eating junk food has a negative effect on mental health, making those who consume it regularly feel depressed. Those who regularly indulged were also found to be more likely to be single, less active, smoke and work more than 45 h ours a week. There is also a link that commercially baked goods were equally con clusive as fast food. The lead researcher from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Dr. Almud ena Sanchez-Villegas, says, Even eating small quantities is linked to a significa ntly higher chance of developing depression. She says the findings supported prev ious studies finding the link with depression. Sanchez-Villegas adds, Although more studies are necessary, the intake of this t ype of food should be controlled because of its implications on both health (obe sity, cardiovascular diseases) and mental well-being. She also discloses that the consumption of high-fat processed food is harmful to the hypothalamus part of the brain an area accountable for levels of hunger, th irst, and the bodys natural rhythms and cycles.

The nutrition expert warns that with the finding that fast food and junk food ca use depression, obesity, and countless other health problems, it is time for peo ple to reconsider their eating habits and effect necessary changes. According to the study, those who think they are safe because they do not freque nt fast food joints, should be reminded that the findings showed that those who eat commercially baked goods (doughnuts and the like) are also likely to get dep ressed. However, it stresses that those who patronise fast food joints regularly were fo und to be twice as likely to develop depression as those who were minimal or nonconsumers of these foods. But a registered dietician and associate professor at the Albert Einstein Colleg e of Medicine in New York, Keith Ayoob, says it is important to be real and keep it in context. He adds, This is reflective of a lifestyle with many unhealthy aspe cts. It is not all about the fast food burger causing depression. I think this r epresents a reflection, not the cause. He argues that one may be stressed out and find it hard to eat healthy, yet the circle of depression continues after turning to comfort food. Also, director of Yale Universitys Prevention Research Centre in New Haven, Conne cticut, Dr. David Katz says, Higher intake of fast food may very well increase ri sks of depression by causing poor health in general. But depression may also inc rease fast food intake. Katz further notes, Comfort food can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depressio n. So it may be that people with depression are turning to fast food for relief. A related study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation shows that ju nk food has a brain-altering effect which makes individuals eat more of it.