Skip to main content Accesibility Help
×
×
Home

Is there an association between diet and depression in children and adolescents? A systematic review

  • Sundus Khalid (a1), Claire M. Williams (a1) and Shirley A. Reynolds (a1)
Abstract

This review critically evaluates previous studies investigating the association between dietary intake of children and young people and depression and related mental health problems. A systematic literature search was conducted using electronic databases such as PsycINFO, MEDLINE, PubMed and Cochrane. A total of twenty studies were identified that met inclusion criteria and were subsequently rated for quality. The studies used a range of methods to measure dietary intake and mental health. Important potential confounding variables (e.g. socio-economic status) were often not included or controlled. There were also inconsistencies in the use of key constructs, which made comparisons between studies difficult. Despite some contradictory results, overall there was support for an association between healthy dietary patterns or consumption of a high-quality diet and lower levels of depression or better mental health. Similarly, there was a relationship between unhealthy diet and consumption of low-quality diet and depression or poor mental health. However, where significant relationships were reported, effect sizes were small. Future research on the relationship between diet and mental health in young people should use more clearly defined constructs to define diet and include or control for important confounders.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Is there an association between diet and depression in children and adolescents? A systematic review
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Is there an association between diet and depression in children and adolescents? A systematic review
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Is there an association between diet and depression in children and adolescents? A systematic review
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: S. Khalid, email Sundus.Khalid@pgr.reading.ac.uk
References
Hide All
1. Patel, V, Flisher, AJ, Hetrick, S, et al. (2007) Mental health of young people: a global public-health challenge. Lancet 369, 13021313.
2. World Health Organization (2016) Depression – fact sheet. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/ (accessed September 2016).
3. Kendall, PC, Compton, SN, Walkup, JT, et al. (2010) Clinical characteristics of anxiety disordered youth. J Anxiety Disord 24, 360365.
4. Kessler, RC, Berglund, P, Demler, O, et al. (2005) Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry 62, 593601.
5. Pardridge, WM & Fierer, G (1990) Transport of tryptophan into brain from the circulating, albumin-bound pool in rats and in rabbits. J Neurochem 54, 971976.
6. Berry, EM, Growdon, JH, Wurtman, JJ, et al. (1991) A balanced carbohydrate: protein diet in the management of Parkinson’s disease. Neurology 41, 12951297.
7. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2015) Depression in children and young people: identification and management. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg28/chapter/ftn.footnote_2 (accessed September 2016).
8. Whittington, CJ, Kendall, T, Fonag, P, et al. (2004) Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in childhood depression: systematic review of published versus unpublished data. Lancet 363, 13411345.
9. Kennard, BD, Silva, SG, Tonev, S, et al. (2009) Remission and recovery in the treatment for adolescents with depression study (TADS): acute and long-term outcomes. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 48, 186195.
10. Goodyer, I, Dubicka, B, Wilkinson, P, et al. (2007) Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and routine specialist care with and without cognitive behaviour therapy in adolescents with major depression: randomised controlled trial. BMJ 335, 142.
11. Murakami, K, Miyake, Y, Sasaki, S, et al. (2010) Fish and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and depressive symptoms: Ryukyus Child Health Study. Pediatrics 126, e623e630.
12. Oddy, WH, Hickling, S, Smith, MA, et al. (2011) Dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids and risk of depressive symptoms in adolescents. Depress Anxiety 28, 582588.
13. Penninx, BW, Guralnik, JM, Ferrucci, L, et al. (2000) Vitamin B(12) deficiency and depression in physically disabled older women: epidemiologic evidence from the Women’s Health and Aging Study. Am J Psychiatry 157, 715721.
14. McLoughlin, IJ & Hodge, JS (1990) Zinc in depressive disorder. Acta Psychiatr Scand 82, 451453.
15. Maes, M, D’Haese, PC, Scharpe, S, et al. (1994) Hypozincemia in depression. J Affect Disord 31, 135140.
16. Hawkes, WC & Hornbostel, L (1996) Effects of dietary selenium on mood in healthy men living in a metabolic research unit. Biol Psychiatry 39, 121128.
17. Rogers, PJ, Appleton, KM, Kessler, D, et al. (2008) No effect of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (EPA and DHA) supplementation on depressed mood and cognitive function: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr 99, 421431.
18. Gariballa, S & Forster, S (2007) Effects of dietary supplements on depressive symptoms in older patients: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Clin Nutr 26, 545551.
19. Silvers, KM, Woolley, CC & Hedderley, D (2006) Dietary supplement use in people being treated for depression. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 15, 3034.
20. Gandy, J, Madden, A & Holdsworth, M (2012) Oxford Handbook of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2nd ed. Oxford: OUP.
21. Jacka, FN, Pasco, JA, Mykletun, A, et al. (2010) Association of Western and traditional diets with depression and anxiety in women. Am J Psychiatry 167, 305311.
22. Ruusunen, A, Lehto, SM, Mursu, J, et al. (2014) Dietary patterns are associated with the prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms and the risk of getting a hospital discharge diagnosis of depression in middle-aged or older Finnish men. J Affect Disord 159, 16.
23. Sánchez-Villegas, A, Verberne, L, De Irala, J, et al. (2011) Dietary fat intake and the risk of depression: the SUN project. PLoS ONE 6, e16268.
24. Sánchez-Villegas, A, Toledo, E, De Irala, J, et al. (2012) Fast-food and commercial baked goods consumption and the risk of depression. Public Health Nutr 15, 424432.
25. Akbaraly, TN, Brunner, EJ, Ferrie, JE, et al. (2009) Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age. Br J Psychiatry 195, 408413.
26. Sánchez-Villegas, A, Delgado- Rodríguez, M, Alonso, A, et al. (2009) Association of the Mediterranean dietary pattern with the incidence of depression: the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra/University of Navarra follow-up (SUN) cohort. Arch Gen Psychiatry 66, 10901098.
27. Lai, JS, Hiles, S, Bisquera, A, et al. (2014) A systematic review and meta-analysis of dietary patterns and depression in community-dwelling adults. Am J Clin Nutr 99, 181197.
28. Psaltopoulou, T, Sergentanis, TN, Panagiotakos, DB, et al. (2013) Mediterranean diet, stroke, cognitive impairment, and depression: a meta-analysis. Ann Neurol 74, 580591.
29. Goodman, E, Slap, GB & Huang, B (2003) The public health impact of socioeconomic status on adolescent depression and obesity. Am J Public Health 93, 18441850.
30. Lemstra, M, Neudorf, C, D’Arcy, C, et al. (2008) A systematic review of depressed mood and anxiety by SES in youth aged 10–15 years. Can J Public Health 99, 125129.
31. Murakami, K & Sasaki, S (2010) Dietary intake and depressive symptoms: a systematic review of observational studies. Mol Nutr Food Res 54, 471488.
32. Giedd, JN, Blumenthal, J, Jeffries, NO, et al. (1999) Brain development during childhood and adolescence: a longitudinal MRI study. Nat Neurosci 2, 861863.
33. Cutler, GJ, Flood, A, Hannan, P, et al. (2009) Major patterns of dietary intake in adolescents and their stability over time. J Nutr 139, 323328.
34. O’Neil, A, Quirk, SE, Housdenm, S, et al. (2014) Relationship between diet and mental health in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Am J Public Health 104, e31e42.
35. Essau, CA (2008) Comorbidity of depressive disorders among adolescents in community and clinical settings. Psychiatry Res 158, 3542.
36. Garber, J & Weersing, VR (2010) Comorbidity of anxiety and depression in youth: implications for treatment and prevention. Clin Psychol (New York) 17, 293306.
37. Cummings, CM, Caporino, NE & Kendall, PC (2014) Comorbidity of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents: 20 years after. Psychol Bull 140, 816845.
38. Fichter, MM, Quadflieg, N, Fischer, UC, et al. (2010) Twenty-five-year course and outcome in anxiety and depression in the Upper Bavarian Longitudinal Community Study. Acta Psychiatr Scand 122, 7585.
39. Yorbik, O, Birmaher, B, Axelson, D, et al. (2004) Clinical characteristics of depressive symptoms in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder.[CME]. J Clin Psychiatry 65, 16541659.
40. Oddy, WH, Robinson, M, Ambrosini, GL, et al. (2009) The association between dietary patterns and mental health in early adolescence. Prev Med 49, 3944.
41. Robinson, M, Kendall, GE, Jacoby, P, et al. (2011) Lifestyle and demographic correlates of poor mental health in early adolescence. J Paediatr Child Health 47, 5461.
42. Rao, S, Shah, N, Jawed, N, et al. (2015) Nutritional and lifestyle risk behaviours and their association with mental health and violence among Pakistani adolescents: results from the National Survey of 4583 individuals. BMC Public Health 15, 19.
43. Wiles, NJ, Northstone, K, Emmett, P, et al. (2009) ‘Junk food’ diet and childhood behavioural problems: results from the ALSPAC cohort. Eur J Clin Nutr 63, 491498.
44. Jacka, FN, Kremer, PJ, Berk, M, et al. (2011) A prospective study of diet quality and mental health in adolescents. PLoS ONE 6, e24805.
45. Jacka, FN, Rothon, C, Taylor, S, et al. (2013) Diet quality and mental health problems in adolescents from East London: a prospective study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 48, 12971306.
46. Rubio-López, N, Morales-Suárez-Varela, M, Pico, Y, et al. (2016) Nutrient intake and depression symptoms in Spanish children: the ANIVA study. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13, 113.
47. Mooreville, M, Shomaker, LB, Reina, S, et al. (2014) Depressive symptoms and observed eating in youth. Appetite 75, 141149.
48. Vollrath, ME, Tonstad, S, Rothbart, MK, et al. (2011) Infant temperament is associated with potentially obesogenic diet at 18 months. Int J Pediatr Obes 6, e408e414.
49. Kohlboeck, G, Sausenthaler, S, Standl, M, et al. (2012) Food intake, diet quality and behavioural problems in children: results from the GINI-plus/LISA-plus studies. Ann Nutr Metab 60, 247256.
50. Renzaho, MN, Kumanyika, S & Tucker, KL (2011) Family functioning, parental psychological distress, child behavioral problems, socio-economic disadvantage and fruit and vegetable consumption among 4–12 year-old Victorians, Australia. Health Promot Int 26, 263275.
51. Oellingrath, IM, Svendsen, MV & Hestetun, I (2014) Eating patterns and mental health problems in early adolescence – a cross-sectional study of 12–13-year-old Norwegian schoolchildren. Public Health Nutr 17, 25542562.
52. Jacka, FN, Kremer, PJ, Leslie, ER, et al. (2010) Associations between diet quality and depressed mood in adolescents: results from the Australian Healthy Neighbourhoods Study. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 44, 435442.
53. Brooks, TL, Harris, SK, Thrall, JS, et al. (2002) Association of adolescent risk behaviours with mental health symptoms in high school students. J Adolesc Health 31, 240246.
54. Fulkerson, J, Sherwood, NE, Perry, CL, et al. (2004) Depressive symptoms and adolescent eating and health behaviors: a multifaceted view in a population-based sample. Prev Med 38, 865875.
55. Tajik, E, Latiffah, AL, Awang, H, et al. (2015) Unhealthy diet practice and symptoms of stress and depression among adolescents in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia. Obes Res Clin Pract 10, 114123.
56. Lipse, MW & Wilson, D (2000) Practical Meta-Analysis (Applied Social Research Methods). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.
57. McMartin, SE, Kuhle, S, Colman, I, et al. (2012) Diet quality and mental health in subsequent years among Canadian youth. Public Health Nutr 15, 16.
58. Weng, TT, Hao, JH, Qian, QW, et al. (2012) Is there any relationship between dietary patterns and depression and anxiety in Chinese adolescents? Public Health Nutr 15, 673682.
59. Zahedi, H, Kelishadi, R, Heshmat, R, et al. (2014) Association between junk food consumption and mental health in a national sample of Iranian children and adolescents: the CASPIAN-IV study. Nutrition 30, 13911397.
60. McMartin, SE, Willows, ND, Colman, I, et al. (2013) Diet quality and feelings of worry, sadness or unhappiness in Canadian children. Can J Public Health 104, e322e326.
61. Blier, P (2016) Neurobiology of depression and mechanism of action of depression Treatments . J Clin Psychiatry 77, e319e319.
62. Dale, E, Bang-Andersen, B & Sánchez, C (2015) Emerging mechanisms and treatments for depression beyond SSRIs and SNRIs. Biochem Pharmacol 95, 8197.
63. Cattaneo, A, Ferrari, C, Uher, R, et al. (2016) Absolute measurements of macrophage migration inhibitory factor and interleukin-1-β mRNA levels accurately predict treatment response in depressed patients. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 19, 110.
64. Pompili, M, Serafini, G, Innamorati, M, et al. (2013) Agomelatine, a novel intriguing antidepressant option enhancing neuroplasticity: a critical review. World J Biol Psychiatry 14, 412431.
65. Luna, RA & Foster, JA (2015) Gut brain axis: diet microbiota interactions and implications for modulation of anxiety and depression. Curr Opin Biotechnol 32, 3541.
66. Wardle, J & Steptoe, A (2003) Socioeconomic differences in attitudes and beliefs about healthy lifestyles. J Epidemiol Community Health 57, 440443.
67. Turrell, G, Hewitt, B, Patterson, C, et al. (2002) Socioeconomic differences in food purchasing behaviour and suggested implications for diet-related health promotion. J Hum Nutr Diet 15, 355364.
68. Dubowitz, T, Heron, M, Bird, CE, et al. (2008) Neighborhood socioeconomic status and fruit and vegetable intake among whites, blacks, and Mexican Americans in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 87, 18831891.
69. Gilman, SE, Kawachi, I, Fitzmaurice, GM, et al. (2002) Socioeconomic status in childhood and the lifetime risk of major depression. Int J Epidemiol 31, 359367.
70. Quirk, SE, Williams, LJ, O’Neil, A, et al. (2013) The association between diet quality, dietary patterns and depression in adults: a systematic review. BMC Psychiatry 13, 175.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed