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Can we prevent depression using diet?

17 September 2019

An unhealthy diet is now the leading cause of premature death in middle- to high-income countries, and number two globally.

Research in the new field of ‘Nutritional Psychiatry’ has resulted in a strengthening in evidence of the relationship between diet and mental and brain health, with data strongly indicating that an unhealthy diet can be an important contributor to an increased risk factor for psychiatric illness, particularly depression, and that dietary improvement can be a highly efficacious and cost-effective strategy for improving depression.

Professor Felice Jacka, Director of the Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University and President of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR), will provide an overview of the evidence regarding the impact of diet on mental and brain health at the RANZCP’s New Zealand 2019 Conference in Nelson this week.

With the turn of the new century, we have seen:

• major shifts in dietary intakes
• a profound increase in the consumption of sugars, snack foods, take away and high energy foods, and
• consumption in nutritious foods such as vegetables and wholegrains diminishing.

With depressive disorders the leading source of global disability, the development of new prevention and treatment strategies is critical.
The RANZCP New Zealand 2019 Conference will be held 18-20 September in Nelson, NZ.


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