Can eating junk food cause mental illness?

Published: February 23, 2019


Feeling depressed? It’s probably time to cut out junk food from your diet as it increases the risk of psychological disorders including bipolar disorder and depression, say researchers.

Junk food is not only harmful for your metabolism but it also increases the risk of psychological problems irrespective of personal characteristics such as age, gender, education and marital status, claims the study, which was published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.



High-sugar consumption was found to be linked with bipolar disorder, while fried foods or processed grains were associated with depression, reported Hindustan Times.

“Perhaps the time has come for us to take a closer look at the role of diet in mental health because it could be that healthy diet choices contribute to mental health,” said lead author Jim E Banta, Associate Professor at Loma Linda University in California. “More research is needed before we can answer definitively but the evidence seems to be pointing in that direction.”

Many of the vendors in the capital practice poor hygiene standards. PHOTO: FILE

Many of the vendors in the capital practice poor hygiene standards. PHOTO: FILE

The findings provide “additional evidence that public policy and clinical practice should more explicitly aim to improve diet quality among those struggling with mental health.” It also pointed out that “dietary interventions for people with mental illness should especially target young adults, those with less than 12 years of education, and obese individuals.”

For the study, the team of researchers reviewed data from over 2,40,000 telephone surveys conducted between 2005 and 2015.

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