Again, not surprising as fast food products are PRODUCTS, that do not necessarily contain the same nutrients as real FOOD. Suffice it to say, junk food junkies are also probably less likely to exercise routinely, get less omega-3 fatty acids from their diet and are less likely to take part in other healthy activities on a regular basis, such as stress reduction techniques and/or proper sleep. The interesting point about this study is that fast food junkies were found to have a 50% higher risk of depression than those not abstaining from junk food.
It's no surprise that Americans are so depressed and fast food companies are so rich. (although personally, I think they should be outlawed, but who am I to quench capitalistic opportunities? Moderation in everything...)
Here's the study blurb from Dr. Weil.
"Fast Foods Fueling Depression
Here's yet another good reason to avoid fast foods: a new study from Spain and the Canary Islands found that the risk of depression was 51 percent higher in junk-food-junkies than in those who don't indulge. The foods in question were processed bakery items including donuts and croissants, along with the typical fast foods such as hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza. The study found that the more fast food a participant consumed overall, the greater the risk of depression. At the study's outset, none of the 8,964 participants had ever been diagnosed with depression or taken antidepressants. Data on their eating habits was collected via food frequency questionnaires, and then the participants were followed for an average of six months. During that period 493 of them were diagnosed with depression. Those with the greatest consumption of processed baked goods and fast foods were at a much higher risk of being diagnosed with depression than study participants that ate the least amount of junk food or had started to take antidepressants. The investigators also reported that study participants who ate the most fast food and commercial baked goods were more likely to be single and less active. Smoking and working more than 45 hours a week were also common among this group. An earlier studied found a 42 percent increased risk of depression associated with eating fast food. The study was published in the March 2012 issue of Public Health Nutrition."
For those trying to get off of antidepressants, here's more proof that self-awareness/meditation improves your well-being
From MedPage Daily, "For patients who achieve an unstable remission after depression -- one dotted with depressive symptoms -- mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may prevent relapse just as well as maintenance antidepressant therapy, researchers say.
Both treatments were equivalent and were associated with similar reductions in relapse compared with placebo, Zindel Segal, PhD, of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, and colleagues reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
"For those unwilling or unable to tolerate maintenance antidepressant treatment, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy offers equal protection from relapse," they wrote.
Relapse after recovery from depression is common, and the current therapy to prevent relapse is maintenance antidepressants. Medication adherence, however, tends to be an issue.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may be an alternative, the researchers said. The group-based regimen helps train patients to disengage from depressogenic thinking, and puts an emphasis on daily practice of health-enhancing behaviors such as meditation or yoga.
Yet little data on its efficacy exists. So the researchers conducted a randomized trial of 166 patients ages 18 to 65 at two outpatient clinics in Canada who met criteria for major depressive disorder, and focused on the 84 who achieved remission. These patients were assigned to one of the three groups: antidepressant maintenance therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or placebo.
Patients who received cognitive therapy discontinued their antidepressants and attended eight weekly group sessions.
During their acute treatment phase, about half (51%) of patients were classified as unstable remitters, while the rest were stable.
These unstable remitters had higher depression scores, spent more days in the acute treatment phase, and spent more days in remission than those who were stable (P=0.03, P=0.02, and P=0.03, respectively).
Thus there was a significant interaction between quality of acute-phase remission and subsequent prevention of relapse in randomized patients (P=0.03).
"Our findings indicated that the quality of remission achieved during the acute phase interacted with the type of prevention treatment patients received to determine relapse outcomes during the subsequent maintenance phase," the researchers wrote.
So they assessed treatment effects among the unstable group. They found that all of these treated patients -- whether they had mindfulness-based therapy or antidepressant therapy -- had a reduction in relapse risk compared with placebo, which didn't differ significantly between the two groups.
Relapse rates were 27% for antidepressant maintenance therapy, 28% for mindfulness therapy, and 71% for placebo.
Individually, mindfulness therapy was associated with a 74% reduced risk of relapse (95% CI 0.09 to 0.79, P=0.01), and antidepressant therapy was associated with a 76% reduced risk (95% CI 0.07 to 0.89, P=0.03).
"For patients whose acute-phase remission was marked by periodic symptom flurries, discontinuing [antidepressants] and receiving [cognitive therapy], or continuing with [antidepressants] significantly lowered relapse/recurrence risk compared with discontinuation to placebo," they wrote.
They said the results are "in accord with previous reports" that time in remission or the presence of residual symptoms are associated with "poorer acute- and maintenance-phase outcomes" and that reduction of this risk "with targeted treatment is beneficial."
"Surprisingly, for patients whose acute-phase remission was stable, there was no differential effect on survival between the treatments we studied," they added.
The study was limited because its power was lessened when the cohort was divided into stable and unstable remitters, and the authors noted that further study is needed.
Link to the article's abstract - http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/67/12/1256
...according to an Morbidity & Mwrtality Week in Review (MMWR) report published by the CDC (Center for Disease Control).
CDC researchers examined data from the 2006 and 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys, which included the Patient Health Questionnaire 8 (a depression screening tool). Some 235,000 U.S. adults were included in the analysis.
Among the other findings:
- Current depression was most common in the Southeast, with Mississippi having the highest prevalence (14.8%); prevalence was lowest in North Dakota (4.8%) - Dave Diauphinis is the only person I know who is at this risk level : )
- Depression was more common among women than men; among blacks and Hispanics than whites; and among middle-aged adults than among younger and older adults.
-Persons with less than a high school diploma (6.7%) and high school graduates (4.0%) were more likely to report major depression than those with at least some college (2.5%)
- And not surprising...those without health insurance were significantly more likely to be depressed than those with coverage.
If you or someone you know is depressed, TALK TO SOMEONE about it! There are lots of treatment options - ranging from psychotherapy to medication and even alternative treatments. Exercise is my favorite recommendation to stave off the blues (and improve your health).
Dr. Maltz earned a Medical Degree and Master in Public Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX. She completed a combined Internal and Preventive Medicine Residency at UTMB in June, 2011. She then completed a 2-year Integrative Medicine Fellowship at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT, during which she simultaneously underwent an intensive 1000-hour curriculum created by The University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Program founded by Dr. Andrew Weil.