Fast food consumption and suicide attempts among adolescents aged 12-15 years from 32 countries
Jacob, L., Stubbs, B., Firth, J., Smith, L., Haro, J.M., & Koyanagi, A.
We examined the fast food consumption-suicide attempt relationship among 105,061 adolescents aged 12–15 years from 32 countries.
This study was based on cross-sectional data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS), and included 4 low-income, 13 lower middle-income, 9 upper middle-income, and 6 high-income countries. Data on past 7-day fast food consumption and 12-month suicide attempts were collected. The association between fast food consumption and suicide attempts was investigated with multivariable logistic regression and meta-analysis while adjusting for sex, age, food insecurity (proxy of socioeconomic status), alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity, obesity, carbonated soft drink consumption, and fruit and vegetable consumption.
Overall, the prevalence of fast food consumption was high (53.5%) and the proportion of suicide attempts was higher among consumers of fast food compared to non-consumers (11.8% vs. 8.3%). Of the 32 countries included in the study, a positive association between fast food consumption and suicide attempts was found in 26 countries although this was not statistically significant in all countries. The pooled OR (95% CI) based on a meta-analysis was 1.31 (1.17–1.46).
Since this was a cross-sectional study, it is not possible to draw any conclusions about causality or temporality in the associations assessed.
Fast food consumption is positively associated with suicide attempts in adolescents. Further research of longitudinal design is needed to confirm/refute our findings and explore the potential underlying mechanisms.