Sugar linked to sadness

In a new study, scientists have found a possible link between a diet high in sugar and common mental disorders. The World Health Organisation recommends that we reduce our daily intake of added sugars, excluding sugar that is found in fruit, vegetables and milk, to less than 5 percent of total energy intake. However, people in the UK currently consume about double that, and Americans triple. Sweet foods and beverages, such as cakes and soft drinks, contribute around three quarters of added sugars, with the rest from other processed foods like ketchup. At the same time, one in six people worldwide suffers from a common mental disorder, such as a mood or anxiety disorder. Could there be a link between high sugar intake and common mental disorders? Previous studies suggest that there may be. The latest study, published in Scientific Reports, tested whether sugar intake from sweet food and drinks could predict new and recurrent mood disorders, and found that men without a mood disorder who consumed over 67 grams of sugar had a 23 percent increased risk of suffering from a mood disorder five years later, compared with those who ate less than 40 grams. They also found that men and women with a mood disorder and a high intake of sugar from sweet food and drinks were at higher risk of becoming depressed again five years later, compared with those who consumed less suga. To find out more go to Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study.