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Poor Diet Increases Depression Risk

25 May 2010 3 Comments

A recent Australian study has lent support to the theory that “a poor quality diet plays a role in increasing the risk of depression in adolescents” (Nicola Garrett, 6minutes.com.au).

The study followed over 7,000 adolescents, the authors concluding that “compared to individuals with a low score on a healthy diet scale, being in the category with the highest score nearly halved the likelihood of having depression.” In other words, the worse your diet, the greater your odds of suffering depression.

If that wasn’t a compelling enough statistic “after adjustment for variables such as age, gender, and physical activity, being in the highest quintile of unhealthy diet scale increased the likelihood of depression by 80%”, the researchers from Victoria found. They concluded that the worse your diet, the worse your odds. The chances of suffering depression continued to rise and rise the worse the eating habits.

Source: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry(2010; 44:435-442).

3 Comments »

  • Liam | EverythingZing said:

    I see this as one of those “chicken / egg” scenarios. Does eating badly make you depressed or do people eat poor quality foods because they are depressed. A bit of both perhaps. Either way, I definitely believe that a high sugar diet has a negative effect on your mental health.

  • chrisjonesosteo (author) said:

    Yeah I agree mate, it’s hard to say. I guess the usefulness of the information lies in the possibility that depressed people could receive dietary advice as a part of their treatment plan and maybe that would in some way augment other interventions? Worth a try at least.

    There are a couple of chicken-egg situations with mental illness – check out this article on the relationship between sleep and mental illness http://www.chrisjonesosteo.com.au/?p=541

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