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J-Y Choi et al, 2024. Healthy and Unhealthy Dietary Patterns of Depressive Symptoms in Middle-Aged Women, Nutrients, Volume 16 (6).

Healthy and Unhealthy Dietary Patterns of Depressive Symptoms in Middle-Aged Women

J Y Choi
Nutrients, Volume 16(6)
March 11, 2024


Depressive symptoms are a common menopausal feature in middle-aged women and are associated with dietary factors. This study aimed to determine the association between dietary patterns and depressive symptoms in 2190 Korean women aged 45–69 years. Depressive symptoms were screened using the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and food intake was examined using a food frequency questionnaire. Dietary patterns were derived from principal components analysis and identified two dietary patterns: a “healthy” dietary pattern (high intake of whole-grain rice, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and fish) and an “unhealthy” dietary pattern (high intake of noodles, dumplings, sweets, red meat, soda, and coffee). After adjusting for all confounding factors, those with the highest healthy dietary pattern scores had a 0.56-fold lower risk of depressive symptoms than those with the lowest score (Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.56, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.37–0.84, p for trend = 0.006). Conversely, those with the highest unhealthy pattern scores had a 1.85-fold higher risk of depressive symptoms than that of those in the lowest quartile (OR = 1.85, 95% CI: 1.30–2.63, p for trend = 0.002). In middle-aged women, a dietary pattern of high intake of fiber-rich whole-grain rice, fruits, vegetables, and legumes may help prevent and manage depressive symptoms.

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