Sydney: Poor diet may be linked to mental health problems during adolescence, researchers found.
In a study of 3,000 adolescents, Deakin University researchers revealed that diet quality could foreshadow mental health in adolescents over time.
Conversely, it might be possible to use diet to prevent mental health problems developing in the first place.
"We found that diet quality and mental health were linked," said Felice Jacka from Deakin`s Barwon Psychiatric Research Unit, who led the study, the journal Public Library of Science reports.
"Three-quarters of psychiatric illnesses begin before the age of 25 and the average age that depressive illnesses start is only 13 years. Once an individual experiences depression, they are more likely to experience it again," said Jacka, according to a Deakin statement.
"This new evidence suggests that it might be possible to prevent some cases of depression developing in the first place by ensuring that the diets of adolescents are sufficiently nutritious," concluded Jacka.