sugar workplace wellness

Study: Is Sugar Intake Associated with Depression?

We frequently highlight the negative effects of sugar on a variety of health factors:

For example, we notedMedPage Today report that “The body may store more fat following a high-protein meal paired with a sugar-sweetened beverage, according to a new study.”

As well, we previously noted a study from the American Heart Association reports that “eating a diet lacking in healthy foods and/or high in unhealthy foods was linked to more than 400,000 deaths from heart and blood vessel diseases in 2015, according to an analysis presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention / Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions.”

We also have noted the positive effect a well-run workplace wellness program can play in helping members address mental wellness. We cited a report is titled “The effectiveness of interventions targeting the stigma of mental illness at the workplace: a systematic review.” The authors reviewed 16 studies and note: “The results indicate that anti-stigma interventions at the workplace can lead to improved employee knowledge and supportive behavior towards people with mental-health problems. The effects of interventions on employees’ attitudes were mixed, but generally positive.”

Now, according to EndoBreak: “In 30-year findings of the Whitehall II study, men who ate the highest amount of sugarhad 23% increased odds of common mental disorders after five years, as well as a tendency towards recurrent depression.”

The study, published in Nature, is titled “Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study.” The goal: “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.”

The findings: “The present long-term prospective study is the first to investigate the association of sugar consumption from sweet food/beverages with prevalent, incident and recurrent mood disorders, while also examining the effect these disorders might have on subsequent habitual sugar intake. We found an adverse effect of higher sugar intake on mental health cross-sectionally and 5 years later in a study based on 23,245 repeated measures in men and women aged between 39 and 83. Further, we found an increased likelihood for incident CMD in men and some evidence of recurrent depression in both sexes with higher intakes of sugar from sweet food/beverages. These associations with incident CMD could not be explained by socio-demo graphic factors, other diet-related factors, adiposity and other diseases although the association with recurrent depression was explained by other diet-related factors.”

In other words: “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.”