Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Comparative Study
. 2010 Mar;167(3):305-11.
doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09060881. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Association of Western and Traditional Diets With Depression and Anxiety in Women

Affiliations
Comparative Study

Association of Western and Traditional Diets With Depression and Anxiety in Women

Felice N Jacka et al. Am J Psychiatry. .

Abstract

Objective: Key biological factors that influence the development of depression are modified by diet. This study examined the extent to which the high-prevalence mental disorders are related to habitual diet in 1,046 women ages 20-93 years randomly selected from the population.

Method: A diet quality score was derived from answers to a food frequency questionnaire, and a factor analysis identified habitual dietary patterns. The 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was used to measure psychological symptoms, and a structured clinical interview was used to assess current depressive and anxiety disorders.

Results: After adjustments for age, socioeconomic status, education, and health behaviors, a "traditional" dietary pattern characterized by vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, and whole grains was associated with lower odds for major depression or dysthymia and for anxiety disorders. A "western" diet of processed or fried foods, refined grains, sugary products, and beer was associated with a higher GHQ-12 score. There was also an inverse association between diet quality score and GHQ-12 score that was not confounded by age, socioeconomic status, education, or other health behaviors.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate an association between habitual diet quality and the high-prevalence mental disorders, although reverse causality and confounding cannot be ruled out as explanations. Further prospective studies are warranted.

Comment in

  • Nutrition and psychiatry.
    Freeman MP. Freeman MP. Am J Psychiatry. 2010 Mar;167(3):244-7. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09121746. Am J Psychiatry. 2010. PMID: 20194485 No abstract available.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 156 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback