Depressed? Try Drinking Less Soda and More Coffee (Or, You Know, Medicine!)


New research suggests that high consumption of soda and juice correlates with an increased risk of depression among adults—and those who drank diet versions of the same beverages were even more depressed. Adults who consume large amounts of coffee, however, are at a slightly decreased risk. Isn’t that just sodapressing? (I AM SO SORRY.) Seems like a pretty backwards, pointless, and empty shortcut for treating your depression (maybe start with a good therapist and drink whatever the fuck you want?), but, you know. Whatever you’re into! Whatever helps!

Chen’s new study looked at data from 263,925 people between the ages of 50 and 71 that were first collected from 1995 to 1996. Soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee consumption was recorded for all participants, then researchers followed up about 10 years later and asked the participant if he or she had been diagnosed with depression since 2000.
Out of all the subjects, 11,311 had been diagnosed with depression in that time frame. It was discovered that people who drank more than four cans or cups of soda per day were 30 percent more likely to be depressed than those who did not drink sweetened drinks. Diet drinkers had a higher chance of being diagnosed than their counterparts who drank the regular versions of soda, fruit punch and iced tea respectively.
Coffee drinkers who consumed four or more cups of coffee a day had a 10 percent lower chance of having depression.
“Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk,” said Chen. “More research is needed to confirm these findings, and people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors.”

First of all, fruit punch? Are you sure you weren’t surveying kindergarteners? Because I know Julie said she’s “depressed” but it was kind of a leading question. She’s really just a little fussy because JT peed on her cot.

Second of all, I’m not personally a scientist, but doesn’t it seem staggeringly more plausible that people who are depressed reach for comforting sugary beverages? And people who are depressed and anxious about calories reach for sugar-free alternatives? Skeptics of the research point out that it hasn’t been replicated, it’s much more likely that the correlation works the other way around, and that “telling people to cut down on drinking sweetened beverages may not affect depression levels at all.”

Soooo…glad we had this talk, then?

Sweetened drinks linked to depression in older adults [CBS]

Photo credit: PetrMalyshev / Stockfresh.

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