Prospective association between ultra-processed food consumption and incident depressive symptoms in the French NutriNet-Santé cohort

Moufidath Adjibade 1, * Chantal Julia 1, 2 Benjamin Allès 1 Mathilde Touvier 1 Cedric Lemogne 3, 4, 5 Bernard Srour 1 Serge Hercberg 1, 2 Pilar Galan 1 Karen Assmann 1 Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot 1
* Corresponding author
1 CRESS - U1153 - Equipe 3: EREN- Equipe de Recherche en Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle
UP13 - Université Paris 13, INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM], CRESS (U1153 / UMR_A_1125 / UMR_S_1153) - Centre de Recherche Épidémiologie et Statistique Sorbonne Paris Cité
Abstract : BACKGROUND: Ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption has increased over the last decades in Westernized countries. Our objective was to investigate for the first time the association between the proportion of UPF (%UPF) in the diet and incident depressive symptoms in the NutriNet-Santé cohort. METHODS: The sample included 20,380 women and 6350 men (aged 18-86 years) without depressive symptoms at the first Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) measurement, using validated cut-offs (CES-D score ≥ 17 for men and ≥ 23 for women). The proportion of UPF in the diet was computed for each subject using the NOVA classification applied to dietary intakes collected by repeated 24-h records (mean = 8; SD = 2.3). The association between UPF and depressive symptoms was evaluated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models. RESULTS: Over a mean follow-up of 5.4 years, 2221 incident cases of depressive symptoms were identified. After accounting for a wide range of potential confounders, an increased risk of depressive symptoms was observed with an increased %UPF in the diet. In the main model adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, body mass index, and lifestyle factors, the estimated hazard ratio for a 10% increase in UPF was 1.21 (95% confidence interval = 1.15-1.27). Considering %UPF in food groups, the association was significant only for beverages and sauces or added fats. CONCLUSION: Overall, UPF consumption was positively associated with the risk of incident depressive symptoms, suggesting that accounting for this non-nutritional aspect of the diet could be important for mental health promotion.
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Moufidath Adjibade, Chantal Julia, Benjamin Allès, Mathilde Touvier, Cedric Lemogne, et al.. Prospective association between ultra-processed food consumption and incident depressive symptoms in the French NutriNet-Santé cohort. BMC Medicine, BioMed Central, 2019, 17 (1), pp.78. ⟨10.1186/s12916-019-1312-y⟩. ⟨inserm-02290247⟩

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