Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the association between fruit and vegetable intake (FVI) and mental health disorders.
Method: This study used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), a repeated cross-sectional study of Canadians with five waves between 2000 until 2009 (n=296,121 aged 12 years or older). FVI was assessed based on frequency of consumption. The primary outcome was a major depressive episode over the previous 12 months. Logistic regression models adjusted for age, gender, household income, education, physical activity, chronic illness and smoking.
Results: In the first wave, greater FVI was significantly associated with lower odds of depression (OR: 0.85 95% CI:0.78-0.92). A combined estimate of all 5 waves demonstrated similar results (OR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.71-0.75). Relative to those with the lowest FVI, those with the greatest FVI also had significantly lower odds of suffering from distress (OR: 0.87 95% CI: 0.78-0.98). These results were consistent across other waves. Perceived poor mental health status and previous diagnosis of a mood disorder and anxiety disorder also demonstrated statistically significant inverse associations with FVI (all p<0.05).
Conclusion: These findings suggest a potentially important role of a healthy diet in the prevention of depression and anxiety.
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