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Review findings on the role of dietary patterns in preventing depression are inconsistent, possibly due to variation in assessment of dietary exposure and depression. We studied the association between dietary patterns and depressive symptoms in six population-based cohorts and meta-analysed the findings using a standardised approach that defined dietary exposure, depression assessment and covariates.
Included were cross-sectional data from 23 026 participants in six cohorts: InCHIANTI (Italy), LASA, NESDA, HELIUS (the Netherlands), ALSWH (Australia) and Whitehall II (UK). Analysis of incidence was based on three cohorts with repeated measures of depressive symptoms at 5–6 years of follow-up in 10 721 participants: Whitehall II, InCHIANTI, ALSWH. Three a priori dietary patterns, Mediterranean diet score (MDS), Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI-2010), and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet were investigated in relation to depressive symptoms. Analyses at the cohort-level adjusted for a fixed set of confounders, meta-analysis used a random-effects model.
Cross-sectional and prospective analyses showed statistically significant inverse associations of the three dietary patterns with depressive symptoms (continuous and dichotomous). In cross-sectional analysis, the association of diet with depressive symptoms using a cut-off yielded an adjusted OR of 0.87 (95% confidence interval 0.84–0.91) for MDS, 0.93 (0.88–0.98) for AHEI-2010, and 0.94 (0.87–1.01) for DASH. Similar associations were observed prospectively: 0.88 (0.80–0.96) for MDS; 0.95 (0.84–1.06) for AHEI-2010; 0.90 (0.84–0.97) for DASH.
Population-scale observational evidence indicates that adults following a healthy dietary pattern have fewer depressive symptoms and lower risk of developing depressive symptoms.
Mood disorders and adiposity are major public health challenges. Few studies have investigated the bidirectional association of weight and waist circumference (WC) change with psychological distress in middle age, while taking into account the potential U-shape of the association. The aim of this study was to examine the bidirectional association between psychological distress and categorical change in objectively measured weight and WC.
We analysed repeated measures (up to 17 522 person-observations in adjusted analyses) of psychological distress, weight and WC from the Whitehall II cohort. Participants were recruited at age 35–55 and 67% male. Psychological distress was assessed using the General Health Questionnaire. We used random-effects regressions to model the association between weight and WC changes and psychological distress, with and without a 5-year lag period.
Psychological distress was associated with weight and WC gain over the subsequent 5 years but not the second 5-year period. Weight gain and loss were associated with increased odds for incident psychological distress in models with and without time-lag [odds ratio (OR) for incident psychological distress after 5-year time-lag: loss 1.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–1.43; gain>5% 1.20, 95% CI 1.02–1.40]. WC changes were only associated with psychological distress in models without time-lag (OR for incident psychological distress: loss 1.29, 95% CI 1.02–1.64; gain>5% 1.33, 95% CI 1.11–1.58).
Weight gain and loss increase the odds for psychological distress compared with stable weight over subsequent 10 years. In contrast, the association between psychological distress and subsequent weight and WC changes was limited to the first 5 years of follow-up.
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