Exploring the relationship between depression, stress, mood and diet in a college age population
Mental health issues among college students are a growing public health concern, making predictors such as diet important to consider. Seventy-three college-aged students completed four 24-hour dietary recalls and the following measures: Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scale-X (PANAS-X). Data from the dietary recalls were categorized into nine dietary patterns, which were then analyzed with three mood scales, positive affect, negative affect, and fatigue using descriptive statistics, correlation matrices and regression analysis. Significant correlations were found between fatigue and Total Soda intake, Non-animal Protein and Raw Fruit and Vegetable consumption. Regression found Raw Fruit and Vegetable consumption remained inversely associated with feelings of fatigue, which was upheld when controlling for perceived stress and depression. These findings support the body of research on diet, mood and fatigue by extending the relationship between into a nonclinical college age population.