Mild Depression Linked to Poor Diet

Published Online: Saturday, June 1, 2002

Mild depression and anxiety are strongly associated with unhealthful dietary practices and eating disorders, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Researchers studied a nationally representative sample of 3,500 adults with psychological distress and found that those with modest symptoms of depression and anxiety were more than twice as likely to engage in unhealthful dietary habits, including skipping meals, taking diet pills, and binge eating. In addition, those subjects who reported being stressed had higher caloric intake. ?Poor diets often result from depression. Energy level and drive are much lower than usual, and enthusiasm for most things, including meals, is lost,? said Leslie Bonci, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and a registered dietitian. She added that eating several small healthy meals throughout the day could be helpful.

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