Food intake patterns in relation to mental health have already been revealed. To investigate the relationship between processed food consumption behavior and anxiety disorder, a cross sectional study was conducted. Overall, 1782 young adults aged 18-35 years were randomly selected using cluster sampling method from 22 districts of Tehran-Iran in 2011. Diet assessment was done using a 24 hour recall questionnaire in two times with a week interval. Anxiety level was determined using the validated Speilburger test (Persian version). A proportional odds regression model was used to assess the effect of processed food consumption on anxiety variables. A significant statistical difference was found between men and women in terms of processed food consumption (p<0.001). Adjusting for age, total calorie intake, gender, body mass index, socioeconomic status, and history of sedative drug consumption as well as mental health disorders, the proportional odds regression model showed a significant relationship between increased consumption of processed foods and anxiety (OR=4.73, 95% CI: 2.89-12.54 for state and OR=4.91, 95% CI: 2.88-13.99 for trait). Identification, modification and adjusting incorrect food patterns in the community could be considered as valuable steps to turn down nutritional-based health difficulties.
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