Is Fast Food Contributing to Teen Depression?

Is Fast Food Contributing to Teen Depression?

Joslyn Rico, Writer

Anyone who has ever dealt with a teenager probably knows they have severe attitudes and mood swings. However over the last decade more and more teens are being diagnosed with depression. Depression in children ages 12-17 within the last year has increased by 52%. In older teens and adults depression increased by 63%. But there are other factors playing a role in this, lack of sleep and overuse of social media etc.

A group of researchers at the University of Alabama, located in Birmingham, took urine samples of middle school students. When they analyzed them they found low levels of potassium and high levels of sodium. The chair of the psychology department at the University, Sylvie Mrug, said “High sodium, you’ve got to think of highly processed food. This includes fast food, frozen meals, and unhealthy snacks.” Then she went on to talk about how low potassium show just how little fruits and vegetables these students are eating.

Now this is a small study and more research needs to be done. Only 84 middle school children, male and female, were studied. And 95% were African-Americans from low income homes. Also the research showed only the relation between depression and sodium, so a lot more research needs to be done. Though sodium is not the only cause, a poor diet could lead to much more symptoms of depression.