When the only food available hurts

A research published in the Public Health Nutrition journal reveals that consumers of fast food, compared to those who eat little or none, are 51% more likely to develop depression. The study demonstrates that those participants who eat the most fast food and commercial baked goods are more likely to be single, less active and have poor dietary habits, which include eating less fruit, nuts, fish, vegetables and olive oil. Smoking and working more than 45 hours per week are other prevalent characteristics of this group.

How did they get to that conclusion? According to the article published on ScienceDaily website, 8,964 participants that had never been diagnosed with depression or taken antidepressants were assessed and followed to an average of six months. 493 of the participants were diagnosed with depression or started to take antidepressants. This result confirms a previous study that was made in 2011 by the SUN project which only found a 42 % relationship between the participants and their eating habits.

Sánchez-Villegas, the lead author of the study advises us that “although more studies are necessary, the intake of this type of food should be controlled because of its implications on both health (obesity, cardiovascular diseases) and mental well-being.”

In my opinion, research has proven that what we eat impacts us (physically, emotionally and spiritually) years ago . Paul Farmer, in his book Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and The New War on the Poor states that we have failed in addressing the real issues because we always look for who to blame and once we’ve found who did it, we don’t move beyond it. He argues that we have to go beyond analysis and develop strategies to address the issues.  This result just like many others are analysis of what is going on in our society and by pointing out the fact that “single people, less active that have poor dietary habits” are more likely to fall into the category of those who eat fast food and commercial baked foods, is creating a stigma. A stigma that will lead people to not think critically and wonder why an educated nutritionist or physical education teacher, despite all his or her knowledge still follows habits that ruin his/her health. If we don’t pay attention to how the message is sent out, it might encourage the stigma that is already out there against Fat, obese and morbidly obese people. Ane example is how Ismat Tahseen interpreted the results of his study in this article of The Times of India.

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