New research has suggested that consuming fried food, especially fried potatoes, can increase the risk of anxiety by up to 12% and depression by up to 7%. The study, published in the journal PNAS, analyzed data from over 140,000 people over 11.3 years and identified a higher risk of anxiety and depression among those who consumed more than one serving of fried food regularly, particularly young men. The study also found that fried potatoes had a 2% increase in the risk of depression compared to fried white meat. However, nutrition experts have pointed out that the study does not prove that consuming fried food is the major factor causing mental health problems. It is unclear whether people with anxiety and depression started eating fried food or whether consuming fried food increases the risk of mental health problems. Dr. David Katz, a lifestyle medicine specialist not involved in the study, said that the findings could indicate that higher intake of fried food increases the risk of anxiety and depression. However, he also noted that people with underlying symptoms of anxiety and depression may turn to comfort foods as a way of self-medicating. The recent global surge in anxiety and depression cases, especially during the pandemic, has raised concerns about the impact of poor nutrition on mental health. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 5% of adults suffer from depression. The study authors suggest that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reducing consumption of fried foods may be helpful for mental health, in addition to overall health. However, Walter C. Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, notes that the health effects of fried food depend greatly on what food is fried and what type of fat is used for frying. In conclusion, while the study highlights the potential risks associated with consuming fried food, further research is needed to understand the causal relationship between fried food consumption and mental health problems. Nevertheless, the study authors emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy diet for overall physical and mental health.