Depression and Drinking Soda Linked in New Study

On the upside, drinking coffee may stave off depression

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Add one more aspect to the disturbing truth about soda and sugary drinks: a new study links soda consumption with a higher risk of depression. 

Researchers looked at a sampling of more than 260,000 participants, with about 11,000 diagnoses of depression, over 10 years. They found that those who drank four or more sodas per day had an inreased risk of depression by 30 percent, compared to those who drank no soda at all, according to FOX News. The risk was even higher for those who drank diet soda compared to regular soda, and those who drank fruity, sugary drinks. And those loving diet drinks of any kind — soda, iced tea, or fruit-flavored drinks — had the higest risk of depression of all. 

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On the other hand, those who drank caffeinated coffee were 10 percent less likely to be depressed (add that to the growing research of diseases coffee can prevent). However, the researchers were clear that the study doesn't prove a cause and effect relationship — that soda causes depression — but more than those who are depressed are more likely to drink soda. "Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk," said study author Honglei Chen, Ph.D., in a press release.