The Mediterranean Diet and the Western Diet in Adolescent Depression-Current Reports

Nutrients. 2022 Oct 19;14(20):4390. doi: 10.3390/nu14204390.


Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world and a current and growing social and health problem. The growing scale of the problem not only concerns adults, but now it particularly affects children and adolescents. Prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders in adolescence is crucial because adolescent depression is a risk factor for recurrence of depression later in life, as well as many other mental health disorders in adulthood. The purpose of this study was to analyze data on the dietary patterns and composition of the Mediterranean diet as a modifiable risk factor for depression, which would be a viable prevention strategy and a good target for early intervention and supportive treatment of depression. Research shows that the Mediterranean diet pattern can reduce the risk and symptoms of depression, while western eating styles can increase the risk and severity of depression in adolescents. The number of studies in adolescent populations continues to increase, but most longitudinal and clinical studies are still insufficient. Modification of the diet can be a helpful strategy for the prevention and treatment of depression in adolescents; therefore, the diet of young people should be considered a key and modifiable goal in the prevention of mental disorders.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; Western diet; adolescent depression; adolescents; diet quality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Diet
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Diet, Western
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders
  • Risk Factors

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.