Fer Chrissake! Why is rubbish like this still being published? No hint of demographic controls. Poor people have worse health and drink more junk drinks. That is all that was going on in this "study". No causal link was shown
In a study recently published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers found that the risk of depression was directly and proportionally correlated with the amount and frequency of consuming sugar- sweetened carbonated beverages (SSCBs). This association was independent of age, sex, and the presence or absence of preexisting diabetes in the study participants.
SSCBs are drinks with high concentrations of added sugar. High intake of SSCBs is a key factor in the global obesity epidemic and has been linked to an increased risk for cardiometabolic disease.
The negative impacts of SSCBs have been attributed to the large quantities of high-fructose corn syrup and added sugar, which increase serum triglyceride levels and dietary glycemic load, leading to insulin resistance (IR). Epidemiological studies have potentially linked metabolic disorders, IR, and depression.
Other research has confirmed that individuals with a predisposition for obesity and diabetes have a higher prevalence of depression than those with normal glucose metabolism.
Small-scale cross-sectional studies have investigated the association between SSCBs and depression. However, these studies have focused on the combined effects of SSCBs, glycemic status, and IR, with mixed results.
For the present study, a team of researchers led by Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Korea used a longitudinal study approach to investigate the association between SSCB consumption and the risk of developing depressive symptoms. Their analyses were designed to eliminate the confounding impacts of glycemic status and IR, thereby elucidating the independent effects of SSBCs.
The researchers analyzed the risk of depression according to the consumption of SSCB in 87,115 working-aged Koreans who responded to Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale.
Clinical and biochemical data was collected from hospital records supplemented with a health-related behavior questionnaire. The questionnaire recorded physical activity levels, health behaviors (smoking, alcohol consumption), and educational status.
Fasting blood glucose was recorded at each follow-up session to evaluate subjects’ glycemic status, which was classified into normal glycemia, prediabetes, and diabetes mellitus (DM). This classification was based on the homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) model.
A semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was used to evaluate and classify subjects’ SSCB consumption, both in terms of quantity (expressed in serving sizes where one serving = 200 mL) and frequency (per week).
The participants were categorized into 5 groups by SSCB consumption based on one serving dose. The categories were: never/almost never, < 1 serving/week, 1 ≤ serving/week < 3, 3 ≤ serving/week < 5, and 5 ≤ serving/week.
The CES-D questionnaire was used to evaluate depressive symptoms per week. The questionnaire comprised 20 questions about negative/depressive feelings, with answers ranging from 0 (seldom/never) to 3 (5-7 days a week). If the total score from the CES-D questionaries was 16 or higher, the individual was classified as having depressive symptoms.
Results revealed that 28.9% (25,246) of individuals had SSCB intakes higher than one serving per week. Of these, individuals consuming more than five servings per week depicted more elevated fasting glucose, HOMA-IR, BMI, alcohol consumption, smoking, total calorie intake, education, and hypertension prevalence than other groups.
Over almost six years of follow-up, 14.9% of participants developed depressive symptoms, predominantly from high SSCB intake groups. Statistical analyses adjusted from covariates revealed a repeating trend of proportionally increasing risk of DM with increasing SSCB consumption.
These results were mirrored across sex, BMI, and glycemic status, implying that SSCBs play an independent role in triggering depression, and are not just cofactors in the development of depression along with IR and obesity as suggested by prior studies.
The authors noted that, considering the young age of the study participants (39.5 ± 6.8 years), it is postulated that the adverse effect of SSCB consumption on mental health can begin at an early age. Thus, the results may be evidence to recommend abstaining from SSCB at a young age, they conclude.