High sugar diet may be linked to depression in men

A recent observational study has suggested that consuming too much sugar may lead to anxiety and depression in UK men.

The study found that compared to those who consumed less than 39.5g of sugar per day, men who consumed more than 67g of sugar per day increased their risk of developing mood disorders by more than a fifth.  To quantify, 67g of sugar is the equivalent of two normal sized cans of Coca-Cola.

The participants were put into three groups based on the amount of sugar they consumed daily.  After five years, it was found that men in the highest sugar consumption group (eating more than 67g of sugar per day) were 23% more likely to have developed a mental disorder such as anxiety or depression than those in the lowest sugar consumption group (eating less than 39.5g of sugar per day).

Although both men and women participated in the study, interestingly there was no link found between sugar intake and the development in mood disorders in women.  Scientists also ruled out the possibility that the findings could be a result of men comforting themselves with sugary foods when unhappy.

Professor Tom Sanders, a nutrition expert at King’s College London, said: “This is an observational study not a clinical trial and its interpretation needs to be treated with caution.  While the authors have tried to adjust for the effects of social factors there still is a risk of residual confounding. There is also a major problem in that sugar intake is under-reported in the overweight and obese, which the authors acknowledge.”