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This study investigated cross-sectional and prospective associations between sweet food/beverage intake, common mental disorder (CMD) and depression, and examined the role of reverse causation (influence of mood on food intake).
Diet was assessed using food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) and mood was assessed using validated questionnaires. Sweet food and beverages were measured as 15 items such as cakes, biscuits, sugar added to hot drinks, and soft drinks. Sugar intake was calculated by multiplying frequency of sweet food and drink consumption by sugar content from portion size and food compositional data.
Cross sectional analyses showed positive associations. In prospective analyses, men in the highest tertile of sugar intake from sweet foods/beverages had 23% increased odds of incident CMD after 5 years independent of health behaviours, socio-demographic and diet-related factors, adiposity and other diseases. Odds of recurrent depression were increased in the highest tertile for both sexes but were not statistically significant when diet-related factors were included in the model. Neither CMD nor depression predicted food intake changes.
Knuppel A, Shipley MJ, Llewellyn CH, Brunner EJ. Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study. Scientific Reports 2017