Food and Behaviour Research

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The association between diet quality, dietary patterns and depression in adults: a systematic review.

Quirk SE, Williams LJ, O'Neil A, Pasco JA, Jacka FN, Housden S, Berk M, Brennan SL. (2013) BMC Psychiatry 13 175. doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-13-175. 

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND:

Recent evidence suggests that diet modifies key biological factors associated with the development of depression; however, associations between diet quality and depression are not fully understood. We performed a systematic review to evaluate existing evidence regarding the association between diet quality and depression.

METHOD:

A computer-aided literature search was conducted using Medline, CINAHL, and PsycINFO, January 1965 to October 2011, and a best-evidence analysis performed.

RESULTS:

Twenty-five studies from nine countries met eligibility criteria. Our best-evidence analyses found limited evidence to support an association between traditional diets (Mediterranean or Norwegian diets) and depression. We also observed a conflicting level of evidence for associations between (i) a traditional Japanese diet and depression, (ii) a "healthy" diet and depression, (iii) a Western diet and depression, and (iv) individuals with depression and the likelihood of eating a less healthy diet.

CONCLUSION:

To our knowledge, this is the first review to synthesize and critically analyze evidence regarding diet quality, dietary patterns anddepression. Further studies are urgently required to elucidate whether a true causal association exists.