(CNN/Gray News) – A new study suggests a possible link between unhealthy food and depression in teenagers.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham were behind the report.
“Depression among adolescents in the United States has increased by 30 percent over the last decade, and we wanted to know why and how to decrease this number,” said Sylvie Mrug, chair of the UAB Department of Psychology. “Very little research has been conducted on diet and depression. Our study shows the need to pay attention to what our children are eating.”
The study analyzed 84 middle school kids from low-income communities in Birmingham.
Tests found high levels of sodium and low levels of potassium in the group.
Researches also saw symptoms of depression, not only among the children but their parents, too.
A year and a half later, researchers tested the group again and noticed additional signs of depression.
High sodium indicates a diet high in processed foods and unhealthy snacks, according to the study.
Low potassium can come from a lack of healthy fruits and vegetables in their diets.