Could a poor diet be linked to negative mental health?
A healthy diet is essential for your body. You know from countless studies and reports that a wholesome diet has a positive impact on your health and wellbeing but a poor diet can lead to a host of illnesses and health problems. A poor diet also affects mental health and previous studies have found a link between mental illness and unhealthy diet choices. A recent study from the Loma Linda University School of Public Health examined the association between dietary intake and mental health and the results were similar to previous studies.
The findings suggest that MPD and SPD were associated with lower consumption of fruits and vegetables, increased consumption of French fries, fast food, soda and high amounts of daily teaspoons of sugar.
For this study, the researchers reviewed data from more than 240,000 telephone surveys conducted between 2005 and 2015 as part of the multi-year California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). The study sample represented 27.7 million adults annually and it included extensive information about socio-demographics, health status and health behaviours for the population in regions within California and for various ethnic groups. The survey adjusted for gender, age, race, education, poverty, marital status, BMI, year and geography.
The findings suggest that MPD and SPD were associated with lower consumption of fruits and vegetables, increased consumption of French fries, fast food, soda and high amounts of daily teaspoons of sugar. The study also found that nearly 17 per cent of California adults are likely to suffer from mental illness — 13.2 per cent with moderate psychological distress and 3.7 per cent with severe psychological distress. However, the researchers warn that the link between poor diet and mental illness is not a causal relationship.
The findings of this study build on previous research and will be the basis for future research in this area. It also provides additional evidence for public policy and healthcare professionals to aim at improving diet quality among those struggling with mental health issues. The researchers recommended that targeted dietary interventions for people with mental illnesses could particularly benefit young adults, those with less than 12 years of education and people struggling with obesity.
Source: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
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