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Dietary intake of people with severe mental illness: systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Scott B. Teasdale (a1), Philip B. Ward (a2), Katherine Samaras (a3), Joseph Firth (a4), Brendon Stubbs (a5), Elise Tripodi (a6) and Tracy L. Burrows (a7)...

Severe mental illness (SMI) is thought to be associated with lower diet quality and adverse eating behaviours contributing towards physical health disparities. A rigorous review of the studies looking at dietary intake in psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder is lacking.


To conduct a systematic, comprehensive evaluation of the published research on dietary intake in psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder.


Six electronic databases were searched for studies reporting on dietary intakes in psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder. Dietary-assessment methods, and dietary intakes, were systematically reviewed. Where possible, data was pooled for meta-analysis and compared with healthy controls.


In total, 58 eligible studies were identified. People with SMI were found to have significantly higher dietary energy (mean difference 1332 kJ, 95% CI 487–2178 kJ/day, P = 0.002, g = 0.463) and sodium (mean difference 322 mg, 95% CI 174–490 mg, P < 0.001, g = 0.414) intake compared with controls. Qualitative synthesis suggested that higher energy and sodium intakes were associated with poorer diet quality and eating patterns.


These dietary components should be key targets for preventative interventions to improve weight and other physical health outcomes in people with SMI.

Declaration of interest

S.B.T. and E.T. have clinical dietitian appointments within the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and do not receive any further funding.

Corresponding author
Correspondence: Scott Teasdale, Keeping the Body in Mind Program, Bondi Community Centre, 26 Llandaff St, Bondi Junction, NSW 2022, Australia. Email:
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Dietary intake of people with severe mental illness: systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Scott B. Teasdale (a1), Philip B. Ward (a2), Katherine Samaras (a3), Joseph Firth (a4), Brendon Stubbs (a5), Elise Tripodi (a6) and Tracy L. Burrows (a7)...
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