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Sugar Could Make You Sad, Says Researchers

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Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night in search of something sweet? If so, then — based on a new study — you may want to substitute that for a non-sugar snack.

According to a study, published in Scientific Reports, food or beverages with sugar-added intake may increase the chances for depressive symptoms.

Aim of this study was to investigate systematically cross-sectional and prospective associations between sweet food/beverage intake, common mental disorder (CMD) and depression and to examine the role of reverse causation (influence of mood on intake) as potential explanation for the observed linkage,” the study reads.

Participants of the study were recruited in London, totaling at 10,308 people, with males as the gender majority.

Questionnaires were utilized to measure diet and mood. A 127-item machine-readable semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was used for diet; the 30-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) was used for depressive and somatic symptoms over a two week period.

The primary aim of the study was to shine a spotlight over associations between high-sugared food/beverages and mood disorders.

What did researchers find?

Researchers found a link between increased sugar intake and mood disorders, like major depressive disorder. Men with high-sugar intake were at risk of increased mood problems years later, based on the findings.

We also found that men and women with a mood disorder and a high intake of sugar from sweet food and drinks were at higher risk of becoming depressed again five years later, compared with those who consumed less sugar. But this association was partly explained by their overall diet,” said Anika Knüppel, a Ph.D. candidate in epidemiology.

The study comes as scientists warn that sugar consumption and clinical depression are both on the increase in high-income countries, according to recent statistics.

As to getting a swift midnight snack, you may want to think twice.

So cutting down on sugar is probably a good idea, regardless of whether it causes mood disorders or not.”

Jose Florez is the founder of Mental Daily. His work has appeared in Psychology Today, Glamour, The Huffington Post, among others. He is a mental health advocate, and currently studying psychology.

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