While the links between good nutrition and holistic well-being are well established, A growing number of researchers are tracing specific connections between poor diet and poor mental health—including depression. It's a relationship that's getting attention from big backers, too—including a major project from the European Union, and a trial from the U.S. Dept. of Defense to boost the nutrition of former soldiers in an attempt to stem veterans' high suicide rates. Solid evidence is mounting that the high-fat, high-sodium, high-sugar diet of the fast-food crazed West is doing damage not only to our collective waistline, but also our mental health and happiness.

And the cost of this—culturally, personally, and financially—is very painful. The BBC's David Robson reports: "For [Australian researcher Felice] Jacka, a break in our love affair with fast food can't come quickly enough. According to some predictions, nearly half of all Americans will be obese by 2030 - with countries across the world following similar trends. "If we add depression to the burden of illness that results from unhealthy diet," she says, "no country can afford the cost.""

As you ponder how to promote well-being for yourself and your community, how prepared are you to encourage people toward good nutrition? The effects of diet can be far-reaching, impacting body, mind, and spirit. (And we really don't need research to convince us of that, do we?)

—Paul Pastor, after reading the BBC's "Is Fast Food Making Us Depressed?"

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