Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Epidemiology Open Journal




Objective: To evaluate the association between depression and sugary drink intake using participant data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS).

Design: Cross-sectional data from the 2012 and 2013 BRFSS were examined (N=44,603). Depression was based on self-report of symptoms within the past 30 days. Covariates included age, sex, race, employment status, body mass index (BMI), education level, and exercise in the past 30 days.

Setting: Data from a national telephone survey (BRFSS) were used to assess risk factors associated with health of the participants.

Subjects: Participants in the 2012 and 2013 BRFSS were included in this analysis (N=44,603). Results: Adjusting for confounders, the odds of depression increased by 5% for every sugary drink consumed (odds ratio (OR)=1.06, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.02-1.10). Depression was also associated with race, with non-Hispanic blacks being 60% more likely to be depressed than non-Hispanic whites. Unemployment and having a high school or less education were independently associated with depression. The association of depression and consumption of sugar sweetened beverages was stronger among women than men.

Conclusion: This study indicates that consuming sugary drinks are associated with an increased odds of depression. These findings support advocacy efforts for an overall healthy lifestyle. In addition, future research should evaluate this association using a cohort design in order to establish the temporality of this association.


Copyright Statement: Copyright ©2016 Sullivan KL. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.