Ultra-processed foods, such as packaged snacks and sugary-sweet beverages, may increase the risk of adverse mental health symptoms such as anxiety, a new study finds.
The research was conducted at Florida Atlantic University and involved the measuring of mentally unhealthy days among 10,359 adults in the U.S.
Researchers measured any symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. Their findings were released in Public Health Nutrition.
“Individuals reporting higher intakes of ultra-processed food (UPF) were significantly more likely to report mild depression, more mentally unhealthy and more anxious days and less likely to report zero mentally unhealthy or anxious days,” the authors emphasized in the findings.
“These data add important information to a growing body of evidence concerning the potential adverse effects of UPF consumption on mental health.”