Association of western and traditional diets with depression and anxiety in women

Jacka, Felice N., Pasco, Julie A., Mykletun, Arnstein, Williams, Lana J., Hodge, Allison M., O'Reilly, Sharleen Linette, Nicholson, Geoffrey C., Kotowicz, Mark A. and Berk, Michael (2010). Association of western and traditional diets with depression and anxiety in women. In: 12th International Congress of the International Federation for Psychiatric Epidemiology, Vienna, Austria, (305-311). 16-18 April 2009. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09060881


Author Jacka, Felice N.
Pasco, Julie A.
Mykletun, Arnstein
Williams, Lana J.
Hodge, Allison M.
O'Reilly, Sharleen Linette
Nicholson, Geoffrey C.
Kotowicz, Mark A.
Berk, Michael
Title of paper Association of western and traditional diets with depression and anxiety in women
Conference name 12th International Congress of the International Federation for Psychiatric Epidemiology
Conference location Vienna, Austria
Conference dates 16-18 April 2009
Journal name American Journal of Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Arlington, VA, United States
Publisher American Psychiatric Publishing
Publication Year 2010
Sub-type Fully published paper
DOI 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09060881
ISSN 0002-953X
Volume 167
Issue 3
Start page 305
End page 311
Total pages 7
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Objective: Key biological factors that influence the development of depression are modified by diet. This study examined the extent to which the high-prevalence mental disorders are related to habitual diet in 1,046 women ages 20–93 years randomly selected from the population.
Method: A diet quality score was derived from answers to a food frequency questionnaire, and a factor analysis identified habitual dietary patterns. The 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was used to measure psychological symptoms, and a structured clinical interview was used to assess current depressive and anxiety disorders.
Results: After adjustments for age, socioeconomic status, education, and health behaviors, a "traditional" dietary pattern characterized by vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, and whole grains was associated with lower odds for major depression or dysthymia and for anxiety disorders. A "western" diet of processed or fried foods, refined grains, sugary products, and beer was associated with a higher GHQ-12 score. There was also an inverse association between diet quality score and GHQ-12 score that was not confounded by age, socioeconomic status, education, or other health behaviors.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate an association between habitual diet quality and the high-prevalence mental disorders, although reverse causality and confounding cannot be ruled out as explanations. Further prospective studies are warranted.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

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