In 2017, researchers in China recruited over 8,000 university students in a study exploring links between soft drink consumption and mental health. They published the results of that study earlier this month in the peer-reviewed journal Public Health Nutrition.
During the study, researchers tracked anxiety symptoms using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire and depression symptoms using the Patient Health Questionnaire. They also tracked soft drink intake, as well as total sugar intake from soft drinks.
What they discovered was that participants who drank soft drinks more than 7 times per week scored significantly higher on both the anxiety and depression questionnaires compared to those who barely drank soft drinks.
As well, they found that participants who consumed more than 25 grams of sugar per day from soft drinks had higher anxiety and depression scores when compared to those who consumed no sugar from soft drinks.
This is one more study in a growing body of research showing a connection between what we eat and our mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 20 years.