Australian researchers link diet and depression in teen study

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 14th February 2018

Evidence of a link between diet and depression has been found in the first study to analyse associations between diet, body mass index, inflammatory markers and mental health in adolescents.

Conduced by researchers at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research in Tasmania, the study found evidence of connection between diet and being overweight or obese to inflammation and mental health problems in teenagers.

Eating a healthy diet full of fruit, vegetables, fish and whole grains was found to protect teens against depression through reducing body mass index and associated inflammation.

The study results were based off surveying over 1, 000 teenagers about their diet and mental health.

Researcher, Professor Wendy Oddy, said the research indicated a complex association between dietary patterns, being overweight or obese, inflammation and mental health problems.

“Scientific work on the relationship between mental health problems and inflammation is still in its infancy, but this study makes an important contribution to mapping out how what you eat impacts on these relationships,” Professor Oddy said.

The research team is now studying specific food components and nutrients to try and understand more about the biological mechanisms leading to mental health problems and depression in adolescents and young adults.


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