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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 104, Issue 4, pp e322–e326 | Cite as

Diet Quality and Feelings of Worry, Sadness or Unhappiness in Canadian Children

  • Seanna E. McMartinEmail author
  • Noreen D. Willows
  • Ian Colman
  • Arto Ohinmaa
  • Kate Storey
  • Paul J. Veugelers
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between diet quality and feelings of worry, sadness or unhappiness in Canadian children.

METHODS: Responses to the Harvard Food Frequency Questionnaire of 6,528 grade 5 students were used to calculate a composite score of diet quality, and its components: variety, adequacy, moderation and balance. Responses to the question on “feelings of worry, sadness or unhappiness” from the EuroQoL 5 Dimension questions for Youth (EQ-5D-Y), a validated Health Related Quality of Life questionnaire, constitute the outcome of interest. Multilevel logistic regression methods were used to examine the association between diet quality and feelings of worry, sadness or unhappiness. All analyses were adjusted for gender, household income, parental education, energy intake, weight status, physical activity level, geographic area and year of data collection.

RESULTS: Diet quality was inversely associated with children’s feelings of worried, sad or unhappy (Odds ratio (95% confidence interval): 0.90 (0.85- 0.97)). Dietary variety and dietary adequacy were also statistically significantly associated with lower odds of feeling worried, sad or unhappy. When the results were stratified by gender, the effect of diet on feeling worried, sad or unhappy was more pronounced in girls than boys.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that diet quality plays a role in feelings of worry, sadness or unhappiness and complement other studies that have suggested the link between diet and mental health. We recommend consideration of diet quality in public health strategies that aim to reduce the burden of poor mental health in children and youth.

Key Words

Nutrition mental health mood children public health quality of life 

Résumé

OBJECTIF: Examiner l’association entre la qualité du régime et les sentiments d’inquiétude, de tristesse ou de mécontentement chez les enfants canadiens.

MÉTHODE: Nous avons étudié les réponses de 6 528 élèves de 5e année au Questionnaire de fréquence de consommation des produits alimentaires de Harvard pour calculer un indice combiné de qualité du régime, et ses composantes: variété, adéquation, modération et équilibre. Les réponses à la question sur les « sentiments d’inquiétude, de tristesse ou de mécontentement » dans le questionnaire EuroQoL 5-Dimension s’adressant jeunes (EQ-5D-Y), un outil validé pour mesurer la qualité de vie liée à la santé, constituaient nos résultats d’intérêt. Au moyen d’analyses de régression logistique multiniveaux, nous avons examiné l’association entre la qualité du régime et les sentiments d’inquiétude, de tristesse ou de mécontentement. Nos analyses ont été ajustées pour tenir compte du sexe, du revenu du ménage, de l’instruction parentale, de l’apport énergétique, du statut pondéral, des niveaux d’activité physique, de la zone géographique et de l’année de collecte des données.

RÉSULTATS: La qualité du régime était inversement associée aux sentiments d’inquiétude, de tristesse ou de mécontentement des enfants (rapport de cotes (intervalle de confiance de 95 %): 0,90 (0,85-0,97)). La variété et l’adéquation du régime présentaient aussi une corrélation significative avec une probabilité inférieure de se sentir inquiet, triste ou mécontent. Quand les résultats étaient stratifiés selon le sexe, l’effet du régime sur les sentiments d’inquiétude, de tristesse ou de mécontentement était plus prononcé chez les filles que chez les garçons.

CONCLUSIONS: Ces constatations montrent que la qualité du régime contribue aux sentiments d’inquiétude, de tristesse ou de mécontentement, ce qui confirme les résultats d’études faisant état d’un lien entre le régime et la santé mentale. Nous recommandons que l’on tienne compte de la qualité du régime dans les stratégies de santé publique qui visent à réduire le fardeau des problèmes de santé mentale chez les enfants et les jeunes.

Mots Clés

nutrition santé mentale humeur enfant santé publique qualité de vie 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seanna E. McMartin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Noreen D. Willows
    • 3
  • Ian Colman
    • 2
  • Arto Ohinmaa
    • 1
  • Kate Storey
    • 1
  • Paul J. Veugelers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Public HealthUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Community MedicineUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Department of Agriculture, Food, and Nutritional ScienceUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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