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Open AccessArticle

Are Psychological Distress and Resilience Associated with Dietary Intake Among Australian University Students?

1
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
2
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
3
Priority Research Centre for Brain and Mental Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4099; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214099
Received: 13 September 2019 / Revised: 21 October 2019 / Accepted: 22 October 2019 / Published: 24 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing)
University students report unhealthy diets and experience poorer mental health than the general population. This study explores the association between psychological distress and resilience with dietary intake in a sample of Australian university students. Cross-sectional data from the University of Newcastle Student Healthy Lifestyle Survey 2017 were analysed. Psychological distress (Kessler Scale), resilience (Brief Resilience Scale) and fruit, vegetable, soft drink, takeaway food and breakfast intakes (short diet questions) were assessed. Socio-demographic (e.g., gender), student (e.g., undergraduate/postgraduate) and health characteristics (e.g., physical activity) were captured. Multivariate linear regression models explored associations between psychological distress and resilience with dietary intake, with adjustment for potential confounders. Analysis included 2710 students (mean age 26.9 ± 9.5 years, 30.4% male). In adjusted models, lower psychological distress was associated with higher fruit (β = −0.37, p = 0.001) and vegetable (β = −0.37, p < 0.001) serves/day, more frequent breakfast consumption (p < 0.001) and less frequent soft drink and takeaway food consumption (p < 0.001). Higher resilience was associated with higher fruit (β = 0.03, p = 0.022) and vegetable (β = 0.06, p < 0.001) serves/day, more frequent breakfast consumption (p = 0.005), and less frequent soft drink (p < 0.001) and takeaway food consumption (p = 0.001). These results highlight a potential link between psychological distress and resilience with diet, and that further research in this area is warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychological distress; resilience; dietary intake; diet; university students; college students; mental health psychological distress; resilience; dietary intake; diet; university students; college students; mental health
MDPI and ACS Style

Whatnall, M.C.; Patterson, A.J.; Siew, Y.Y.; Kay-Lambkin, F.; Hutchesson, M.J. Are Psychological Distress and Resilience Associated with Dietary Intake Among Australian University Students? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4099. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214099

AMA Style

Whatnall MC, Patterson AJ, Siew YY, Kay-Lambkin F, Hutchesson MJ. Are Psychological Distress and Resilience Associated with Dietary Intake Among Australian University Students? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(21):4099. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214099

Chicago/Turabian Style

Whatnall, Megan C.; Patterson, Amanda J.; Siew, Yu Y.; Kay-Lambkin, Frances; Hutchesson, Melinda J. 2019. "Are Psychological Distress and Resilience Associated with Dietary Intake Among Australian University Students?" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 16, no. 21: 4099. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214099

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