Research on eating and depression
A number of studies have explored the relationship between diet and mood in young people. Here are two examples:
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It’s important to interpret research findings with caution. These studies are unable to conclude whether poor diet causes low mood – it could just be that happier young people seek out healthier diets, and unhappier young people seek out unhealthy diets. For example, when we’re feeling low, we can often crave sugary, comfort foods, as they give us the ‘hit’ of energy. However, the energy from the sugary snacks doesn’t tend to last long, which could lead to eating these snacks more frequently and consuming bigger portions.
1) Jacka, F. N., Kremer, P. J., Leslie, E. R., Berk, M., Patton, G. C., Toumbourou, J. W., & Williams, J. W. (2010). Associations between diet quality and depressed mood in adolescents: results from the Australian Healthy Neighbourhoods Study. Australian & New Zealand journal of psychiatry, 44(5), 435-442. Please note this journal article is behind a paywall.
2) Jacka, F. N., Rothon, C., Taylor, S., Berk, M., & Stansfeld, S. A. (2013). Diet quality and mental health problems in adolescents from East London: a prospective study. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 48(8), 1297-1306. Please note this journal article is behind a paywall.
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