Soft drink consumption is associated with depressive symptoms among adults in China

Bin Yu, Haiyan He, Qing Zhang, Hongmei Wu, Huanmin Du, Li Liu, Chongjin Wang, Hongbin Shi, Yang Xia, Xiaoyan Guo, Xing Liu, Chunlei Li, Xue Bao, Qian Su, Ge Meng, Jiaqi Chu, Yan Mei, Shaomei Sun, Xing Wang, Ming ZhouQiyu Jia, Honglin Zhao, Kun Song, Kaijun Niu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Background Research evidence supports a positive link between soft drinks and depressive symptoms. However, data thus far are only from Caucasian populations. We investigated whether high levels of consumption of soft drinks were associated with the depressive symptoms among adults in China. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 3667 adults in Tianjin, China. Dietary intake was assessed using a valid self-administered food frequency questionnaire, and depressive symptoms were assessed with the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), cut-off point of 40, 45 or 50 indicating elevated depressive symptoms. Results The prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms was 7.6% (SDS ≥50). After adjustments for potentially confounding factors, the odds ratios (95% confidence interval) of having elevated depressive symptoms by increasing levels of soft drink consumption were 1.00, 1.43 (1.01, 2.01) and 2.00 (1.15, 3.37) (p for trend <0.01). Similar relations were observed when SDS ≥40 or 45 were used as a definition of depressive symptoms. Limitation This is a cross-sectional study, causal relation remains unknown. Conclusion Our results suggested that high consumption of soft drinks was significantly related to a higher prevalence of depressive symptoms among adults in China. This is the first large cross-sectional study addressing this topic in an Asia population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-427
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 1


  • Cross-sectional study
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Soft drinks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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