I have always enjoyed the chicken versus the egg questions. Which came first?
One chicken or the egg question I hear quite frequently in my line of work is the sugar or depression question. Was it the depression that through the act of self-medication, increased sugar was consumed or the act of eating sugar that caused the depression? It seems this chicken or the egg question has been answered by a recent study called the Whitehall II study.
A research team from the University College of London collected data on over 10,000 men and women over the course of 30 years. Their analysis basically compared amounts of sugar intake with the timing of the diagnosis of depression or other mood disorders. They found that high sugar intake, according to their data, caused the changes in mental function that we call depression and mood disorders.
I would be very slow to hang my hat on one study. However, it does, once again, place emphasis on the fact that a diet high in sugar can be detrimental far beyond the concerns of the waistline.
Next time you’re feeling down and need to self medicate, go for a walk outside or play a game with a loved one or a child. The side effects of this form of self-medication have benefits that far outweigh any risks.