Men with high sugar intakes have an increased likelihood of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, according to new research by University College London.
The study, which has been published in the journal Scientific Reports, also showed that having a mood disorder did not make people more inclined to eat sugary foods.
The researchers analysed the sugar intake of over 5000 men and 2000 women for a period of 22 years between 1983 and 2013. They cross compared this with the occurrence of common mental disorders.
It was found that men who consumed more than 67 grams of sugar a day had a 23 per cent increased chance of incident common mental disorders after five years, compared to those who consumed less than 39.5 grams.
According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, men in the UK consume an average of 68.4 grams of sugar per day.
Anika Knüppel, the study’s lead author, said: ‘High sugar diets have a number of influences on our health but our study shows that there might also be a link between sugar and mood disorders, particularly among men.’
‘There are numerous factors that influence chances for mood disorders, but having a diet high in sugary foods and drinks might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The study found no link between sugar intake and new mood disorders in women and it is unclear why. More research is needed to test the sugar-depression effect in large population samples.’