Hawaii Edition

Sugar Linked to Depression

Connection to Mental Disorders


The journal Scientific Reports recently published a study that confirmed a link between a diet high in sugar and common mental disorders. In 2002, researchers from Baylor College found that higher rates of refined sugar consumption were associated with higher rates of depression. A 2015 study that included nearly 70,000 women found a higher likelihood of depression in those with high added sugar intake, but not in those with a high intake of naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruit.

The World Health Organization recommends that people reduce their daily intake of added sugars to less than 5 percent of their total energy intake; Americans typically consume three times that much. Meanwhile, one in six people worldwide suffers from a common mental problem such as a mood or anxiety disorder.

This article appears in the January 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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