Too Much Sugar Could Make You Depressed, If You’re A Dude

No one is so rigorously healthy, so assiduous in their diet, that they don’t, at least occasionally, find solace in the humble donut, the cool ice cream cone, or even, in a pinch, the mineral-laden Twinkie. But, alas, if you are a man, you should perhaps turn to the potato chip or the pretzel instead, because it turns out too much sugar might be bad for your mind, not just your waistline.

The good news, as the Guardian offers, is that this isn’t a hard link, yet. It’s just a correlation, but the more sugar a man ate in the study, the more likely he was to be depressed. In fact, the study found that the guys eating the most sugar — more than 67g a day — had a 23% higher incidence of depression compared to guys who went to the salty stuff first. If that weren’t bad enough, it might actually be a lot worse:

People’s sugar intake and their mental health were measured through questionnaires. One of the problems with dietary studies is that people tend not to tell the whole truth about what they eat. But, she said, “it is quite unlikely that people over-report what they eat.” So if anything, they would be seeing less of an effect that there really is.

There are two unanswered questions, however. The first is why, exactly, it’s men who get depressed from too much sugar, and not women. If this isn’t just a quirk of the study, and the huge sample of 5,000 men and 2,000 women, makes that unlikely, then why? Is it something in how men metabolize processed sugar? Are depressed men just more likely to hit the sweets?

The good news is that we’re talking about a lot of refined sugar: A typical donut packs about 10 or 11 grams of the stuff, so the occasional sweet isn’t going to throw you into a funk. But if you needed a reason beyond the waistline to cut back, now you have one.