We often excuse ourselves when we eat junk food, saying we do it because we are anxious or depressed. But a new study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition shows that the reverse might be true – namely that eating junk food makes us more likely to feel anxious or depressed. Researchers from Florida Atlantic University collected data on the number of days of feeling anxious or depressed, as well as diet information, for over 10,000 adults. They found that those adults who consumed the highest amounts of ultra-processed foods reported having significantly more mentally unhealthy days and anxious days compared to people who generally avoid these foods. “Ultra-processed” foods are those that are ready-to-eat when they come out of their packaging. They typically contain a lot of unhealthy ingredients and have little nutritional value. Unfortunately, ultra-processed foods make up about 60 percent of all calories consumed by Americans.