With an ever increasing number of obese adults in the west and throughout the westernized world, there is an associated increase in the numbers of adults (and children) with Type 2 diabetes. People are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes related to lack of exercise, unhealthy dietary choices, and excess weight or obesity.
Often occurring in association with Type 2 diabetes though not
exclusively is depression. Since the two diseases often occur together, a group of scientists recently aimed to examine whether or not diet, an important risk factor in developing Type 2 diabetes, had any effect on the prevalence of depression in patients with the disease.
4588 adults over the age of 18 were studied. Depression and diabetes statuses and usage of diabetes medications were determined via self-reported questionnaires. Fasting blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin levels were also measured. Results were determined after controlling for the following factors: gender, age, marital status, education, race, “food insecurity level”, family income-to-poverty ratio, and serum C-reactive protein.
Diet types were categorizes by: healthy (i.e. Mediterranean-like diets), unhealthy (i.e. western diets), sweets, “Mexican-style”, and breakfast.
- Patients consuming a “healthy diet” (i.e. Mediterranean-like) had a decreased risk of depression for those with and without diabetes.
- Patients with diabetes consuming a healthy diet showed the greatest reduction in depression risk.
- Those consuming a “sweets” diet were at high risk for both diabetes and depression concurrently.
The results of this study show that eating a healthy diet, similar to
the Mediterranean diet, reduces the risk of developing depression regardless of diabetes status. For those with diabetes already, eating a Mediterranean-like diet reduces the risk of developing depression symptoms concurrently. On the other hand, those eating a lot of sweets not only were at a high risk of developing diabetes, but were also at a high risk of developing depression symptoms at the same time.
Dipnall, J.F., Pasco, J.A., Meyer, D., Berk, M., Williams, L.J., Dodd, S., and Jacka, F.N. 2015. The association between dietary patterns, diabetes and depression. Journal of Affective Disorders 174: 215-224.