The Sad Side of The Happy Meal
Junk food, the scary truth
According to the National Center for Health Statistics. (Health, United States, 2010: With special feature on death and dying. Table 95. Hyattsville, MD. 2011.), Antidepressants were the third most common prescription drug taken by Americans of all ages between 2005 and 2008, and the most frequently used by people between the ages of 18 and 44. It also states that from 1988–1994 through 2005–2008, the rate of antidepressant use in the United States among all ages increased by almost 400%.
Food companies advertise overly processed “junk foods” as convenient and “happy”. Here is The Sad Side of the Happy Meal. A resent study published in the Journal of Public Health Nutrition shows that the consumption of fast foods plays an important role in this situation.
A new study in the journal Public Health Nutrition shows that regularly eating commercial baked goods — including doughnuts and croissants — as well as fast food — pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs — is linked with an increased depression risk.
Researchers from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada found that the people who regularly eat these foods are also more likely to be more sedentary, smoke, eat other not-so-nutritious foods and work 45 or more hours a week.
“Although more studies are necessary, the intake of this type of food should be controlled because of its implications on both health (obesity, cardiovascular diseases) and mental well-being,” study researcher Almudena Sánchez-Villegas said in a statement.
The study included 8,964 people who didn’t have depression (and weren’t taking any antidepressant drugs) at the start of the study. Their depression statuses and diets were tracked for an average of six months.
At the end of the study period, 493 people were depressed or were taking antidepressants. The researchers found that the ones who ate the most junk food were 51 percent more likely to develop depression, compared with people who ate the least of these foods.
The Mayo Clinic reported on a previous study also showing a similar link. That study showed that people whose diets are high in fried foods, processed meats, desserts and high-fat dairy had an increased risk of depression symptoms, compared with people who eat lots of fruits, veggies and fish.
And earlier this year, a study in the journal PLoS ONE showed that there may be a link between eating trans fats– common in a lot of junk foods — and being irritable and aggressive.
The researchers of that study, from the University of California, San Diego, found that greater trans fats intake seemed to predict whether a person was more aggressive. The finding held true even after taking into account factors like sex, age and ethnicity.
Our mental and emotional states are closely related to our diet and lifestyle. When our bodies are deprived of essential nutrients and enzymes, not only our physical health is affected, but also our mental and emotional health. Eating an alkaline diet, rich in live foods that are packed with nutrients allows us to maintain balance on all aspects to our health. What we like to call an alkaline lifestyle involves stability in all three fronts, physical, mental and emotional. And it may be attained by paying attention to what we call the 5 elements of health: Diet, exercise, hydration, social interaction, and proper rest.
Overly processed foods can hardly be called foods anymore. They offer no nutritional value, and in fact they pose a serious threat to our health. It is our responsibility to stop intoxicating our bodies, and specially our kids’ bodies with these well called “Junk foods”, and start fueling them with the kind of food they were meant to eat.
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