Trying to give up fatty foods 'can cause depression'

14 December 2012

People who attempt to cut out fatty food in a bid to get healthier end up feeling depressed because dieting in this way alters the brain, a new study has claimed.

High-fat weight loss programmes actually change chemicals in the brain that is similar to drug withdrawal, leading to unhealthy eating habits as people try to battle depression and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

Researchers from the University of Montreal conducted experiments on mice, which involved feeding one group of mice a low-fat diet and another group a high-fat diet over a six-week period.

It was discovered that the latter group demonstrated behaviours like anxiousness, reflected in their unwillingness to be seen in open areas. Additionally, there brains had actually been altered.

"By working with mice, whose brains are in many ways comparable to our own, we discovered that the neurochemistry of the animals who had been fed a high fat, sugary diet were different from those who had been fed a healthy diet," commented Dr Stephanie Fulton.

"The chemicals changed by the diet are associated with depression. A change of diet then causes withdrawal symptoms and a greater sensitivity to stressful situations, launching a vicious cycle of poor eating."

Posted by Philip Briggs

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