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French fries may increase risk of depression and anxiety, study suggests

Fried food, particularly French fries, may trigger depression and anxiety, posing a greater health risk, according to a new study.

The analysis created by a group of researchers from Zhejiang University in China, specifies that the results showed that frequent consumption of fried foods was related to a 12 percent increased risk of anxiety and a 7 percent increased risk of depression. , with young men being the most affected.

The text, published in the scientific journal PNAS, points out that Western dietary patterns have been unfavorably related to mental health.

The evaluation recorded data from 140,728 people, for 11 years.

According to the results, chronic exposure to acrylamide, a representative contaminant of food processing in fried products, induces alterations in the metabolism of brain lipids and produces neuroinflammation.

He points out that chronic exposure to acrylamide deregulates the metabolism of complex lipids such as sphingolipids and phospholipids, which play an important role in the development of anxiety and depression symptoms.

These results, both from an epidemiological and a mechanistic point of view, provide strong evidence to unravel the mechanism of anxiety and depression caused by acrylamide, and highlight the importance of reducing the consumption of fried foods for mental health, the study underlines. .

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -CDCIn general, about 1 in 6 adults in the US will experience depression at some point in their lives. 

Depression affects about 16 million adults in the US each year.

The agency points out that many people who have depression also have other mental health conditions. Anxiety disorders often go hand in hand with depression. People with anxiety disorders experience intense and uncontrollable feelings of anxiety, fear, worry, or panic, which can interfere with daily activities and can last for a long time.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America ?ADAA, for its acronym in English? notes that in 2020, approximately 14.8 million American adults age 18 and older had at least one major depressive episode with severe impairment in the past year. 

Depression rates were highest among young adults between the ages of 18 and 29, while about 39 percent of adults with major depressive episodes received no treatment.

Additionally, it estimates that 4.1 million adolescents ages 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode.

Rates of depression have been on the rise among teens in the United States. More than 1 in 20 children ages 6 to 17 in the US, between 2011-2012, were found to have current anxiety or depression as reported by parents. While about 60 percent of adolescents with a major depressive episode received no treatment. 

For its part, the marketing agency Mordor Intelligence suggests that the compound annual growth rate of consumption and the French fries market will increase by 5.03 percent between 2020 and 2025.

He further explains that while French fries are mostly enjoyed by consumers from different demographic groups around the world, these are especially consumed by millennials. Thus, manufacturers are seen focusing on ethnic flavors, to expand their business in foreign countries and meet the demand of consumers with different taste palettes.

Some of the largest markets for potato chips worldwide include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Russia, and China, with the United States being the nation with the highest consumption of potato chips in the world.

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Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.

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