Feeling anxious or blue? Ultra-processed foods may be to blame

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Feeling anxious or blue? Ultra-processed foods may be to blame

More than 70 percent of packaged foods in the U.S. are classified as ultra-processed food and represent about 60 percent of all calories consumed by Americans. A study in 10,359 adults 18 and older found those who consumed the most ultra-processed foods as compared with those who consumed the least amount had statistically significant increases in the adverse mental health symptoms of mild depression, ‘mentally unhealthy days’ and ‘anxious days.’ They also had significantly lower rates of reporting zero ‘mentally unhealthy days’ and zero ‘anxious days.’ Findings are generalizable to the entire U.S. as well as other Western countries with similar ultra-processed food intakes.

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