Happy Meal

I’ll never understand why so many people think junk food equals happiness.

Honestly, could anything be further from the truth? But if you want some scientific proof, read on.

A team of Finnish researchers recently conducted a follow-up study of more than 2,000 middle-aged men. They analyzed food records and frequency questionnaires to note any influence on the incidence of depression.

And surprise, surprise. Subjects who ate nutrient-rich diets–characterized by vegetables, fruits, berries, lean meats, and fish–were less likely to suffer depressive symptoms. And they had a lower risk of depression during the 13-20 year follow-up period overall.

Weight loss also correlated with reductions in depressive symptoms–which, frankly, anyone could have predicted.

That brings me to this study’s other not-so-shocking finding. An unhealthy diet–in this case, marked by high consumption of processed meats, bread, white potatoes, and sugar-filled desserts, snacks, and drinks–was linked with a marked increase in depressive symptoms.

So much for Happy Meals making you happy.

I rest my case.

University of Eastern Finland. “Diet is associated with risk of depression.” ScienceDaily, 16 Sep. 2013. Web. 28 Sep. 2013.