Depressive symptoms and self-reported fast-food intake in midlife women

Geoffrey B. Crawford, Anuprita Khedkar, Jodi A. Flaws, John D. Sorkin, Lisa Gallicchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the association between depressive symptoms and fast-food intake in midlife women. Methods: Data were analyzed from a cross-sectional study of 626 women aged 45-54. years conducted from 2000 to 2004 in Baltimore, Maryland. The presence of depressive symptoms was measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies - Depression scale and defined as a score of 16 or greater. The frequency of fast-food intake was assessed using self-reported questionnaire data, and was categorized as "at least weekly", "at least monthly, but less than weekly" and "less than monthly". Results: Approximately 25% of the study sample reported depressive symptoms; 14% consumed fast-food "at least weekly," and 27% "at least monthly, but less than weekly". Compared to their counterparts, women with depressive symptoms had significantly greater odds of reporting higher fast-food intake (confounder-adjusted odds ratio: 1.54; 95% confidence interval: 1.06-2.25). Other covariates associated with a higher frequency of fast-food intake included black race and body mass index ≥30kg/m2. Conclusions: Findings from this study indicate that the presence of depressive symptoms is positively associated with fast-food intake in midlife women. These results may have important health implications given that both depression and dietary consumption patterns are risk factors for a number of diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-257
Number of pages4
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Fast foods
  • Menopause
  • Middle aged
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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