We are really what we eat – it isn’t just an old time saying.

You are what you eat. More and more research is showing that this old saying should be something we all follow.

A study done at Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California seems to be once again reinforcing this saying.

The researchers reviewed results from over 240000 telephone surveys done over 11 years from 2005. The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)  has much information about the respondents, including; socio-demographics, health status and health behaviours.

The results indicate that regardless of gender, education, age, marital status and income level, it seems that diet has a significant impact on mental health.The greater the consumption of unhealthy food the higher the likelihood of either moderate (MPD) or severe psychological distress (SPD) symptoms.

The study was published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition shows that13.2% of Californian adults suffer from MPD and 3.7% with SPD, and both groups had higher consumption of fast food, soda and French fries, with a lower intake of fruit and vegetables. Associate Professor Jim E Banta, the study’s lead author, said; “This and other studies like it could have big implications for treatments in behavioural medicine. Perhaps the time has come for us to take a closer look at the role of diet in mental health, because it could be that healthy diet choices contribute to mental health. More research is needed before we can answer definitively, but the evidence seems to be pointing in that direction.”

The results from this study are yet another indication that we are what we eat and that eating foods which are good for you can only improve and maintain good health. There is another similar saying in the IT world – “rubbish in rubbish out” and this study and others like it show that this applies to humans as well.

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