While Stylist published a piece a few issues ago about new findings by the University of Granda and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria that claimed that those who eat doughnuts and cakes are more likely to get depressed than those who don't, I rolled my eyes a little bit. After all, these are the same people who pushed the idea that chocolate is good for us but a week before.
In the article, the scientists who are helpfully placing themselves between us and Krispy Kreme have said that those who eat 'commercially baked goods' on a regular basis are more 51% likely to develop depression than those who don't, but they also pointed out that those who fell into this category were more likely to be single, smoke, be less active and work more than 45 hours a week. The classic breakdown of a a frustrating life. When I Googled 'doughtnuts make women depressed', the first article that came up was, unsurprisngly, a Daily Mail story about unlikely causes for depression - non gender-specific, but all the images are of women, suggesting exactly which individuals the article is trying to target/scare. When you replace 'women' with 'men', Google first tries to redirect you search 'me', then when you refuse offers a discussion forum on mind.com first, then the Mail piece. Clearly, men are not as easily succeptable to scaremongering from mainstream media as women are.
If you read this article backwards, and latch simply on to the phrase that details unhealthy eating as a habit most commonly found in depressives, along with overwork, a lack of relationship and inactivity, you'd find this tenuous. If you read it from the front, like a normal person, you'll be terrified at how doughnuts are going to lead you down the path of depression. But for me the association with doughnuts will always be with Homer Simpson, beer gut spilling over his jeans as he craves a sweet fix.
Doughnuts are not meant to be a health food. They will never be associated with a positive, healthy hip lifestyle, no matter how many times Glamour laminates them in pink glitter. They will always, like all junk food, be associated with laziness and excess, unless preceded with a work-out that allows us to justify the momentary slip.
I've spent most of the weekend sitting/lying around not doing anything, when previously I'd be berating myself for not exercising and walking briskly around the block for no other reason than the fact that it might burn half a calorie. NO MORE, I say. The makers of Krispy Kreme did not intend for their confections to be eaten in such quantity that after a while it's less eating and more inhaling. Like every company that strives to make an impression, its foods are designed to be savoured, relished for the taste alone. If you really want to shovel excessive carbs, just buy some basic Tesco bread, sprinkle it with sugar, and experience the same gratifying high and crashing low. At least it avoids the overspending guilt that would otherwise accompany the sugar crash and bloating stomach.
Asking whether doughnuts make you depressed by their ingredients alone is a question that should be asked for scientific purposes, but for social reasons we shouldn't really need to know. The image of such foods that has been sold to us (even the name, 'junk' food) indicates that this is not something that will make us feel good. We know it's not condusive to a happy, healthy lifestyle if you spend your every evening at home eating bread or in the office eating, well, bread. If you're still scared and shocked by the knowledge that carbs, loneliness and stress are major features of an unhappy lifestyle, please give me the secrets of your delusion.
Articles like this do nothing other than grab us with the cheap terror of the headline. They might be feeding us new facts, but they aren't telling us anything we don't already know. So don't worry if you spent the whole weekend sitting at home reading and eating Mini Eggs. It's been a long time since the Christmas break, you're tired and you deserve a rest. And a nice treat that tastes good. I promise it won't do anything any more horrific to you than it did before the article was published.