FAST FOOD BLUES
Junk food may be contributing to depression, a study at James Cook University has found. Researchers compared the incidence of depression in two groups of 100 people on separate islands in the Torres Strait between Papua New Guinea and Australia – one where fast food is readily available and one with no fast food outlets. They found 16 showing signs of moderate to severe depression on the island with fast food outlets and just three on the island with no access to fast food. They say the effect could be down to higher quantities of n-6 PUFA, a fatty acid that’s linked to depression and is found in fast food.
HOT BATHS = HAPPINESS?
According to a study from the University of Freiburg, taking a hot bath twice a week may help to relieve the symptoms of depression. During the eight-week trial the study participants were asked to take a twice-weekly 40°C bath for 30 minutes, or do two 45-minute sessions of moderate aerobic exercise such as jogging or cycling. Both groups reported an improvement in mood, but the effect was more marked and kicked in faster in the bathing group. The benefits could come from the effect that hot baths have on resetting our circadian rhythm, which can often be disrupted in those suffering from depression.