High intake of sweets late in the day predicts a rapid and persistent response to light therapy in winter depression

Psychiatry Res. 1993 Feb;46(2):107-17. doi: 10.1016/0165-1781(93)90013-7.


Demographic characteristics, depression ratings, and detailed daily records of symptoms were examined as possible predictors of the response to light therapy of 51 patients with seasonal affective disorder. Of 26 items, high intake (> 1 portion) of sweets in the second half of the day was the best predictor of a rapid and persistent response to light therapy. The intake of sweets may either act on similar neurochemical substrates to those affected by light or provide a behavioral marker for individuals susceptible to light response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carbohydrates*
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Diet
  • Eating*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phototherapy
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder / psychology*
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Carbohydrates