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The Western Diet Essay

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The Western Diet mainly consists of fried foods, refined grains, sugar, high carbohydrate and fats, and meats (3). It has been hypothesized that having a Western Diet increases one’s chances for developing depression. There has been a great deal of research into why the western diet increase’s one chance of having depression. A common sense reason maybe that the Western Diet consisted of large amounts carbohydrates, fats and sugars which promotes obesity and then causes depression (1). More scientific evidence suggest that having a improper diet like the Western Diet negatively affects peripheral and central dopamine, which are neurotransmitters (chemical which transmit signals across the synapse from the nerve cell to the target cell) directly linked to the mental health of the brain and are negatively affected by high fat diets (4). Research has also suggested that having a poor nutrition status such as lacking folate (a natural water form of vitamin bg which is crucial for many of the bodies processes) and key vitamins like vitamin b12 significantly increases the risk of depression in elderly people (5). Research into the topic of dietary habits and mental health is very crucial with the growing rates of obesity and depression in the United States compared to the rest of the world. Thus, does having poor dietary habits increase the likelihood of having depression? The likelihood of developing depression has been linked to the type of diet one consumes such as the Western Diet, Diets Low in Fat and Carbohydrates and weight control diets like binge eating.
America’s obesity rates and depression rates continue to proportionally rise every year compared to the rest of the world (3). Is a Western Diet, which is a diet that mainl...


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...brain and malnutrition. Therefore, one’s diet is not only crucial for the physical well being but also their mental.



Works Cited

1. Brinkworth, G.D. et al. Long-term Effects of a Very Low-Carbohydrate Diet and a Low-Fat Diet on Mood and Cognitive Function. Archives of Internal Medicine,169:1873-1880, 2009.
2. Cohen, J. et al. Psychological Distress Is Associated with Unhealthful Dietary Practices. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 102:699-703, 2002.
3. Jacka, F.N. et al. Association of Western and Traditional Diets with Depression and Anxiety in Women. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 167: 305-11, 2010.
4. Wardlaw, G.M. and Smith. Contemporary Nutrition: Issues and Insights. 5th Edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill, pp 85, 2004.
5. Williamson, C. Dietary Factors and Depression in Older People. British Journal of Community Nursing, 14:422-426, 2009.


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