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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2019 Sep;70(6):759-770. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2019.1570085. Epub 2019 Feb 16.

Mental health status and dietary intake among California adults: a population-based survey.

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a School of Public Health , Loma Linda University , Loma Linda , CA , USA.
b Child Nutrition Services, Redlands Unified School District , Redlands , CA , USA.


California Health Interview Survey (2005-2015) data were used to examine the association between dietary intake frequencies and mental health - Kessler-6 scores categorised as no/low (NLPD), moderate (MPD) or serious psychological distress (SPD). The 245,891 surveys represented 27.7 million adults annually, with 13.2% having MPD and 3.7% SPD. Survey-adjusted regression adjusting for gender, age, race, education, poverty, marital status, BMI, geography and year found MPD and SPD associated with lower consumption of fruits (adjusted odds ratio 0.79 and 0.65, respectively), vegetables (AOR 0.81 and 0.68), and increased consumption of French fries (AOR 1.24, 1.30), fast food (AOR 1.32, 1.27), soda (AOR 1.23, 1.26) and variance-adjusted daily teaspoons of sugar (coefficients 3.05, 4.21), all p-values less than 0.001. In this large population-based sample, moderate and SPD were independently associated with unhealthy diet. Targeted public health interventions could focus on young adults and those with less than 12 years of education.


Food consumption frequency; food; fruits and vegetables intake; soft drinks; sugar

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