Is Seasonal Affective Disorder Making You Fat?
It could be the sign of something more serious!
If you feel like you might be suffering from SAD, you’re not alone: It affects 27 million American women to varying degrees. “Women of childbearing age are the most susceptible,” says Norman Rosenthal, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School and author of Winter Blues. “We think the higher rate is due to estrogen making the brain more reactive to light, which means females need more exposure to the sun to be happy.”
While severe cases of this condition can be treated with antidepressants, exercise and diet could ease symptoms. Nuts, packed with omega-3s, and lowfat milk, rich in vitamins D and B12, might help since those nutrients all play a part in serotonin production. Rosenthal also recommends sitting near a light box, a device that mimics sunshine, for 30 minutes a day. One to try: Lumie Zip box by BioBrite ($199; biobrite.com).