High fat diet linked to anxiety and depression


Previously coined the ‘Donut Downers’ or ‘Burger Blues’ a new research study has found that a diet with a high fat content is clinically linked to a higher rate of depression and anxiety in mice.

Researchers at the Universite de Montreal, have found that rich comfort foods with a high fat content causes individuals to experience both a ‘food high’ and a emotional boost leading them to feel good for a while before the occurrence of ‘come downs’.

Researchers have reported that eating fatty foods as a pick me up not only leads to obesity but changes the chemistry of the brain in a similar way to illicit drugs causing symptoms of depression.

In this latest study published in the International Journal of Obesity, the effect of diet was examined in the behaviour and brain chemistry of mice.

It was concluded that the mice fed on highly-fatty foods for the 12 weeks, showed depressive-like behaviour during the testing period. The mice were observed to make significantly less effort to escape when they had been trapped. In addition, their anxiety levels were reported to be more than those mice on a low fat diet, with specific avoidance behaviours such as staying in closed spaces rather than venturing into open areas.

The brains of the mice in the high-fat diet condition had significantly higher levels of the hormone corticosterone, which is directly associated with the stress response.

In light of this latest research for the benefit of your waist-line and your mental health, it could be advised that the next time we are on a bit of a ‘downer’ to reach for the celery or carrot sticks rather than a bag of crisps and a chocolate bar.