Summary: Discover the latest findings from a global survey conducted by Sapien Labs, revealing a significant link between the consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) and mental health. The study, involving nearly 300,000 adults across 26 countries, demonstrates a strong correlation between high UPF intake and poorer mental wellbeing.
- Frequency Matters: Individuals reporting frequent consumption of UPF, particularly several times a day, were found to be three times more likely to experience serious mental health struggles compared to those who rarely or never consumed UPF.
- Universal Impact: While younger adults tended to consume UPF more frequently, the adverse effects on mental wellbeing were consistent across all age groups. The decline in mental health couldn’t be attributed to factors like exercise frequency or income.
- Comprehensive Mental Impact: High UPF consumption was associated with various dimensions of mental function, including adaptability, resilience to stress, and cognitive problems. Depression symptoms and issues with emotional control were particularly pronounced with increased UPF intake.
- Global Trends: A comparison among 26 countries highlighted varying levels of UPF consumption, with the Philippines, United States, and United Kingdom reporting the highest, while Egypt, Morocco, and Venezuela reported the lowest.