Remember the character Fat Bastard from Austin Powers? He has a powerful quote that many of us can relate to when it comes to our relationship with food; “I can’t stop eating. I eat because I’m unhappy, and I’m unhappy because I eat. It’s a vicious cycle.” A vicious cycle indeed.
In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, 2012, researchers, Stephanie Fulton and Sandeep Sharma, explore the relationship between depression and a high fat, high sugar diet in mice. Mice were given a high fat, high sugar diet for 12 weeks. Their observations of the mice on the high fat, high sugar diet exhibited signs of anxiety and depressive symptoms compared to mice that were not on the high fat, high sugar diet. This article from Scientific American poses many questions about what still needs to be done beyond this study to really figure out the link between an high fat, high sugar diet and depression.
Researcher Stephanie Fulton states, “Although popular culture jokes about these illnesses and even mocks the people who are suffering, obesity is a serious and major public health issue that already affects hundreds of millions of people. As a society, we must avoid creating stigma and discriminating against obese and depressed people. With regards to research, it is urgent that we identify the molecules and neural pathways involved in obesity and obesity-related illnesses.”
From my personal experience I am sure there is a link between diet and depression. I can’t tell you how many times the words of Fat Bastard have run through my head. Does one cause the other? I have no idea. What I do know is I finally broke the vicious cycle.
No worries, I’m still telling lots of yummy things to “get in my belly”! (but I’ll pass on Mimi-Me)
What do you think? Based on your personal experience, do you think there is a link between your diet and depression?
Study published in the International Journal of Obesity, 2012
Overview of Study from the U.S. National Library, National Institutes of Health: Diet-induced obesity promotes depressive-like behaviour that is associated with neural adaptations in brain reward circuitry