While much research has shown that eating a healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, and lean meat is associated with a reduced risk of depression, there have been very few randomized controlled trials directly examining the link between the two, including for young adults, who are establishing health patterns and are also at higher risk for depression.
Francis and colleagues studied 76 university students (17-35 years old) exhibiting moderate-to-high depression symptoms and following a poor diet based on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (high in processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats). They randomized participants into a "diet change" group or a "regular diet" group. The diet change group was given brief instructions on improving their diet, as well as a healthy food hamper and $60 towards future groceries. Each group member also received two subsequent check-ins via phone call. The regular diet group did not get any diet instructions and were simply asked to return after the three weeks were up. Before and after the intervention, the researchers assessed participants' scores for depression, anxiety and overall mood, and their performance on several learning and reasoning tasks.
End - Weeks - Change - Group - Diet
At the end of the three weeks, the diet change group had successfully maintained a healthy diet and showed...
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