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Food Insecurity Linked to Mania Exacerbation

Food Insecurity Linked to Mania Exacerbation

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For the first time, food insecurity has been associated with worsened mania symptoms in adults with mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder. Food insecurity is defined as the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable food in socially acceptable ways.

These authors investigated relationships among food insecurity, nutrient intakes, and psychological functioning in 97 adults with mood disorders, as well as in a general population sample. Food insecurity status was based on validated screening questions that asked whether in the past 12 months did the participant, due to a lack of money, worry about or not have enough food to eat. Nutrient intakes were derived from 3-day food records.

In comparison to the general population, food insecurity was significantly more prevalent in the adults with mood disorders. Those who were food-insecure had lower median intakes of carbohydrates and vitamin C, and a higher proportion of them had low intakes of protein, folate, and zinc. There was a significant association between food insecurity and mania symptoms.

The authors suggest that for patients with mood disorders, intervening to address food insecurity would enhance both their nutritional and psychological well-being.   

RESULT: Davison KM, Kaplan BJ. Food insecurity in adults with mood disorders: prevalence estimates and associations with nutritional and psychological health. Annals of General Psychiatry . | Jul 17, 2015 (FREE FULL TEXT)

Current pharmaceutical treatments have only partial benefit for bipolar disorder. This has led to investigations of other therapies, such as nutritional interventions. A substantial number of studies suggest that intake of the essential fatty acids can prevent psychotic disorders or improve mood symptoms. Several nutrition-related concerns have been reported among those with mood disorders, such as low income, social isolation, presence of other health problems, drug-nutrient interactions, and suboptimal eating behaviors.

In an earlier study, these same authors examined the dietary consumption of the same food-insecure population diagnosed with mood disorders. Compared with the regional nutrition survey data and national guidelines, a greater proportion of the study participants consumed fewer of the recommended servings of grains and fruits and vegetables. They also had greater intakes of high-fat whole grain products, processed meats, and higher sugar, fat or salty foods. Also, many consumed food from sources outside the home, suggesting a lack of time devoted to meal preparation.

The authors suggest that adults with mood disorders could benefit from nutritional interventions to improve diet quality.

RESULT: Davison KM, Kaplan BJ. Food intake and blood cholesterol levels of community-based adults with mood disorders. BMC Psychiatry. | Feb 14, 2012 (FREE FULL TEXT)


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