The Relationship between Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, Intake of Specific Foods and Depression in an Adult Population (45-75 Years) in Primary Health Care. A Cross-Sectional Descriptive Study

Nutrients. 2021 Aug 7;13(8):2724. doi: 10.3390/nu13082724.


Background: The relationship between the quality of the diet and the adherence to the Mediterranean diet with the presence of persistent or recurrent depressive symptoms have been described. The objective of this study is to analyze the relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and the intake of specific foods in primary care patients aged 45 to 75, having subclinical or major depression. The study also specifically analyzes this relationship in individuals suffering from chronic diseases.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted. 3062 subjects met the inclusion criteria from the EIRA study. Sociodemographic variables, clinical morbidity, depression symptomatology (PHQ-9) and adherence to Mediterranean diet (MEDAS) were collected.

Results: Being female, younger, with a higher BMI, consuming more than 1 serving of red meat a day and drinking more than one carbonated or sugary drink daily, not consuming 3 servings of nuts a week and not eating 2 vegetables cooked in olive oil a week are predictors of having higher depressive symptomatology.

Conclusions: Assessing the type of diet of patients presenting depressive symptoms and promoting adherence to a healthy diet is important, especially in patients with chronic diseases. However, depression is a very complex issue and the relationship between nutrition and depression must be further examined.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; chronic diseases; cross-sectional study; depression; primary healthcare.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / diet therapy*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Diet, Healthy / psychology
  • Diet, Healthy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diet, Mediterranean / psychology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*