New study reveals health impact of eating fried foods

  There are few things in the world as comforting as that first bite of a golden, crunchy hot chip that you have been thinking about all day.

  Whether you prefer those beautiful pieces of fried potato goodness coated in lashings of chicken salt, with a side of tomato sauce, a little splash of vinegar, or doused in gravy, the simple hot chip makes for a perfect savoury snack.

  While most of us can agree that a cheeky packet of delicious hot fries may not be the epitome of a well balanced meal, new studies have revealed the true extent of how it might be affecting our health – and it may not be in the way you think.

  The latest research has suggested that the humble chip may actually be negatively impacting our mental health, with fried foods reportedly being linked to higher rates of anxiety and depression.

  Interestingly, the impact was found to be more pronounced in `young men, and younger consumers in general.

  The study, published in the PNAS journal from a research team in Hangzhou, China, found that frequent consumption of fried foods – especially fried potatoes – was linked with a 12 per cent higher risk of anxiety and a 7 per cent higher risk of depression, compared to people who did not eat fried foods.

  However, nutrition experts explained that the results are preliminary, and it is not necessarily clear whether the fried foods were driving mental health issues, or people experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety turned to fried foods for comfort.

  The study evaluated 140,728 people over 11.3 years.

  After excluding participants diagnosed with depression within the first two years, a total of 8294 cases of anxiety and 12,735 cases of depression were found in those that consumed fried food.

  Fried potatoes specifically were found to have a 2 per cent increase in risk of depression over “fried white meat”, such as fried chicken.

  “The human component of this study may indicate just what it purports: that higher intake of fried food increases the risk of anxiety/depression,” Dr David Katz, a lifestyle medicine specialist who was not involved in the study, told CNN.

  “However, the causal pathway could just as readily go the other way: people with anxiety/depression turn to ‘comfort food’ with increasing frequency for some semblance of relief.”

  He added that a general lack of variety in food has also been shown to decrease wellbeing.

  Unhealthy food and poor nutrition can lower a person’s mood and exacerbate mental health conditions, another study claimed.

  The researchers pointed to a recent rise in depression and anxiety worldwide, with 2020 seeing an increase of 27.6 per cent and 25.6 per cent, respectively.

  The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 5 per cent of adults suffer from depression globally.

  Need to talk to some