Thursday, January 10, 2013

Soft drinks, juice drinks linked to depression

Steve: pay special attention to the highlight in bold.

A new study found that those who drink a fair amount of sweetened sodas and fruit drinks – whether diet or regular – have an increased risk of depression. Coffee drinkers, on the other hand, have a slightly lower risk. The study was presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting this week.

Previous studies have found that drinking sweetened beverages was associated with a higher prevalence of depression, suicidal thoughts and other mental distress. But this study followed people over a number of years.

From 1995 to 1996, consumption of drinks such as soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee was evaluated in 263,925 adults. About 10 years later, researchers asked the participants whether they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000. A total of 11,311 people said yes.

Here’s what they found:

• People who drank more than four cans or cups of soda per day were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda.

• Those who drank four cans of fruit punch per day were about 38 percent more likely to develop depression than those who did not drink sweetened drinks.

The risk of depression was greater for those who drank diet soda rather than regular soda, diet fruit drinks instead of sugar-sweetened fruit drinks and diet rather than regular iced tea.

The study also found that coffee drinkers seemed to be slightly protected from depression. People who drank four cups of coffee per day were about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than those who drank no coffee.

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