Eating Fried Food Linked to Anxiety, Depression: Study

According to this new study, eating fried food frequently can increase your risk of anxiety or depression. This article examines the study’s findings and how depression and anxiety work.

What Are the Study’s Findings?

The results revealed that consistently eating fried food, specifically potatoes like french fries, was connected to a 12% higher risk of anxiety. It was also linked to a 7% increase in depression. According to the study, males and young people suffered the most impact.

The study, published on Monday, 25th April 2023, in the Journal PNAS, was conducted by researchers from Zhejiang University in China. They examined data for more than 140,000 people within 11 years.

Can Fried Food Cause Depression and Anxiety?

According to the authors, one cause could be that fried foods contain a chemical known as acrylamide. This chemical rises when certain foods are cooked at very high temperatures. The researchers also said that acrylamide is connected to “anxiety and depressive-like behaviors” connected to brain inflammation.

An expert not participating in the study said the connection could be that fried foods are comforting for people with anxiety or depression. David Katz, a preventive and lifestyle medicine expert, said the human component of the study shows that higher fried food increases the risk of anxiety and depression. However, he also said the causal pathway could go the other way. Katz said that patients with anxiety or depression turn to comfort food constantly to find relief.

How does Anxiety and Depression Function?

Anxiety and depression are clinical mental illnesses. Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental disorders. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 30% of adults are affected by anxiety disorders at some point. Clinical anxiety problems are also different from regular feelings of anxiousness or nervousness. With clinical anxiety, it is impossible for you to lead a normal and productive life.

Depression affects how you think, feel, or act. It also causes feelings of sadness or a loss of interest in activities you enjoy. According to the APA, depression can lead to physical and emotional problems and affects approximately 1 in 15 adults annually. The association also said that 1 in 6 adults will experience depression during their lifetime.


Depression and anxiety can make it hard to enjoy regular things in your day. However, you can eat healthy meals and undergo therapy treatment to improve your well-being.