Does sugar make you sad?


AP Photo/Kathy Willens

❝ Lately, the science has really been stacking up evidence against consuming sugars in excess.

In addition to being linked to conditions like obesity, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, eating high levels of sugar has been associated with mental illnesses like depression. In a study published July 27 in Scientific Reports that followed over 8,000 adults over 22 years, researchers from University College London found that men who reported consuming foods that contained 67 grams of sugar per day or more were 23% more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression after five years from when the study began.

❝ For their work, researchers followed the a cohort called the Whitehall Study II, which tracked health and stress data for civil servants aged 35 to 55 in London beginning in 1985. Every few years, participants filled out surveys about their diets and other markers of health—including whether or not they had been clinically diagnosed with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Participants didn’t have any mental illnesses diagnosed to start, and researchers used their food questionnaires to estimate how much sugar each person was eating per day.

❝ After the first five-year follow up, men who ate the most sugar, which the authors categorize as 67 grams or more per day—almost twice the amount of sugar intake recommended by the American Heart Association, and roughly three and a half regular sized Snickers bars—had higher rates of mental health diagnoses than those who ate less sugar, regardless of whether or not they were overweight. Even during years when participants reported eating less sugar, levels of mental illness stayed the same, which suggests that previous sugar habits had led to depression or anxiety and not the other way around. In this study, the relationship between sugar and mental illness wasn’t well-defined among women.

And the news didn’t get better.

RTFA for more details. No one’s saying eating sugar melts your brain. Yet. Laying the groundwork for illness is what any part of the whole of mediocre/lousy nutrition establishes.

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