The association between diet quality, dietary patterns and depression in adults: a systematic review

Shae E Quirk, Lana Williams, Adrienne O'Neil, Julie Anne Pasco, Felice N Jacka, Siobhan Housden, Michael Berk, Sharon Lee Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

273 Citations (Scopus)


Recent evidence suggests that diet modifies key biological factors associated with the development of depression; however, associations between diet quality and depression are not fully understood. We performed a systematic review to evaluate existing evidence regarding the association between diet quality and depression. Method: A computer-aided literature search was conducted using Medline, CINAHL, and PsycINFO, January 1965 to October 2011, and a best-evidence analysis performed. Results: Twenty-five studies from nine countries met eligibility criteria. Our best-evidence analyses found limited evidence to support an association between traditional diets (Mediterranean or Norwegian diets) and depression. We also observed a conflicting level of evidence for associations between (i) a traditional Japanese diet and depression, (ii) a ?healthy? diet and depression, (iii) a Western diet and depression, and (iv) individuals with depression and the likelihood of eating a less healthy diet. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first review to synthesize and critically analyze evidence regarding diet quality, dietary patterns and depression. Further studies are urgently required to elucidate whether a true causal association exists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175 - 196
Number of pages22
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue numberArt. ID: 175
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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