BBC News reports that Ministers are saying that targeting depression early is the key to prevention. I can't say that I agree that that will prove successful. In my opinion continually talking about depression and referring to it as though it is a real disease, and as though there is agreement about what it constitutes, tends to lead vulnerable people to focus on the idea that that may be what their problem is. But depression is only a putative disease.
My personal opinion is that the best measures to take to reduce 'Depression', whatever anybody means by that slippery word, is to curb the use of the word in a medical context and concentrate instead on enabling people to eat good nutritious meals.
Dieting or fasting or so-called 'detoxing' or any other form of inadequate nutrition is a major cause of depression, tiredness, sad thoughts and all that syndrome of negativity. Unfortunately, the increasing incidence of obesity is accompanied by more and more pressure on overweight people to "eat less and exercise more". If this advice is taken by overweight people, especially if they are young and sensitive, then they will not lose weight. They will more likely gain weight because inadequate intake of food/calories/nutrients leads to increased fluid retention, which is actually the cause of excess weight gain and obesity. Then being more and more overweight makes most people feel more and more depressed and frustrated.
The government would be well advised to get the food industry drastically to lower the amount of salt/sodium it adds to its products: to do this not by exhortation and by slow increments, but to use the full power of the law. It is added salt that is the main cause of child obesity and is the means by which older fat people who are sensitive to salt usually keep gaining weight. The food industry has harmed the health of the nation for long enough. Their leaders should be taken to court and punished if they do not desist from what is effectively, poisoning, however slowly, the majority of their customers.
The other HUGE problem is the ever-growing numbers of drugs being prescribed. Many drugs, including cortico-steroids and HRT, anti-psychotics, NSAIDS, and, ironically, anti-depressants CAUSE salt sensitivity/weight gain/obesity/depression and a host of other health problems and this proliferation of reckless, inappropriate prescribing should be curbed, again, BY LAW.
Good nutrition is the best and safest medicine.
Lose weight, reduce your risk of most cancers, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, vascular dementia, stroke, osteopenia, osteoporosis, hypercholesterolaemia, depression, liver and kidney problems, boost your lung function and improve your health in many other ways without drugs, hunger or expense by eating less salt! - Try it!
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Read my Mensa article on Obesity and the Salt Connectionand FAT RETENTION