Association of dietary diversity score with anxiety in women

Psychiatry Res. 2015 Dec 15;230(2):622-7. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.10.016. Epub 2015 Oct 19.


Evidence suggests that diet plays an important role in the development of mental disorders, especially anxiety. Dietary diversity score is an indicator for assessing diet quality. However, its association with anxiety has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to examine the association of dietary diversity score with anxiety. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 360 women attending health centers in the south of Tehran in 2014. General information among others were collected. Weight, height and waist circumference were measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Dietary intake and anxiety score were assessed using a 24-h dietary recall and Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales (DASS) questionnaires, respectively. Dietary diversity score was computed according to the guidelines of FAO. About 35% of the participants were found to exhibit anxiety. The dietary diversity score in 12.5% of the subjects were between 1 and 3 (low dietary diversity score) but 87.5% scored between 4 and 7 (high dietary diversity score). The adjusted mean of anxiety score in subjects with high dietary diversity score was significantly lower than those with low dietary diversity score. Dietary diversity score was found to be inversely associated with anxiety. However, the causality between anxiety and dietary diversity could not be determined.

Keywords: Anxiety; Diet; Food composition; Food variety; Women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology*
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / psychology
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diet Surveys*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Waist Circumference