Mental health can depend on what we eat



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Mental health can depend on what we eat

The quality of the food and the diet could be important to the mental health issues, as shown by a recent study. The food we eat and its quality play an even more important role than you might think, not just for physical problems.

Diet quality in persons with and without depressive and anxiety disorders study, published on the Journal of psychiatric research, tries to do a retrospective on issues such as mental health. The researchers explained: "Diet quality was significantly worse among subjects with a current disorder than among healthy controls.

Subdividing subjects showed that those with concurrent depressive and anxiety disorders had the lowest diet quality score. More chronic depression or anxiety disorders and increased severity in all participants showed a dose-response association with poorer diet quality.

There was no distinct pattern between IDS items related to depression subtypes and diet quality. Diet quality is poorer in persons with depressive and anxiety disorders; in particular in those with comorbidity. The more severe and chronic the symptoms, the poorer the diet quality.

Prospective studies are needed to confirm the direction of the relationship of depressive and anxiety disorders with diet quality and to examine whether improving diet quality could improve mental health. This study examines the association of depressive and anxiety disorders and their clinical characteristics (disorder type, severity, chronicity and clinical subtypes) with diet quality.

Data from 1634 adults were sourced from the 9-year follow-up of the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety. Depressive and anxiety disorders were established with Composite International Diagnostic Interviews. Severity was measured with the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, Fear Questionnaire and the Beck Anxiety Inventory.

Chronicity was measured with life-chart interviews expressed as percentage time with a disorder. Diet quality was evaluated using the Mediterranean Diet Score and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index." Mental health refers to a condition of health, well-being or balance of a psychological and emotional nature.

A condition that allows the individual to exploit his cognitive or emotional abilities, exercise his function within society, respond to the daily needs of everyday life, establish satisfactory and mature relationships with others, participate constructively in the changes of environment, adapt to external conditions and internal conflicts. The field of reference is psychiatry and psychology.