Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study

Anika Kn├╝ppelMartin J. ShipleyClare H. Llewellyn, and Eric J. Brunner

Intake of sweet food, beverages and added sugars has been linked with depressive symptoms in several populations. 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. We analysed repeated measures (23,245 person-observations) from the Whitehall II study using random effects regression.

Diet was assessed using food frequency questionnaires, mood using validated questionnaires. Cross-sectional analyses showed positive associations.

In prospective analyses, men in the highest tertile of sugar intake from sweet food/beverages had a 23% increased odds of incident CMD after 5 years (95% CI: 1.02, 1.48) independent of health behaviours, socio-demographic and diet-related factors, adiposity and other diseases.

The odds of recurrent depression were increased in the highest tertile for both sexes, but not statistically significant when diet-related factors were included in the model (OR 1.47; 95% CI: 0.98, 2.22). Neither CMD nor depression predicted intake changes.

Our research confirms an adverse effect of sugar intake from sweet food/beverage on long-term psychological health and suggests that lower intake of sugar may be associated with better psychological health.

Published Online : July 27th 2017

ChooseLife : This is the beginning post in a research stream I will undertake, to demonstrate the multi faceted path of destruction simple sugars may wreak, on susceptible individuals mental and physical health. Many years ago I read Moreless responding to a question on the general cause of Depression, just four words, which at the time did not click for me, but does now “prolonged low blood sugar“, the thought streams back to Carey Reams exceptional interview on Blood Sugars available here = Dr Carey Reams Interview on Hypoglycemia

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