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Less Animal-Based Food, Better Weight Status: Associations of the Restriction of Animal-Based Product Intake with Body-Mass-Index, Depressive Symptoms and Personality in the General Population

1
Department of Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
2
Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany
3
Center for Stroke Research Berlin (CSB), Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany
4
Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology, University of Leipzig, 04107 Leipzig, Germany
5
Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Health, University of Leipzig, 04109 Leipzig, Germany
6
Day Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University Hospital, Leipzig University, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1492; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051492
Received: 19 April 2020 / Revised: 15 May 2020 / Accepted: 18 May 2020 / Published: 20 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Lifestyle and Mood Disorders)
Restricting animal-based products from diet may exert beneficial effects on weight status; however, less is known about such a diet and emotional health. Moreover, personality traits, for example high neuroticism, may contribute to restrictive eating habits and potentially confound diet-health associations. We aim to systematically assess if restrictive dietary intake of animal-based products relates to lower weight and higher depressive symptoms, and if differences in personality traits play a significant role. Cross-sectional data from the baseline LIFE-Adult study were collected from 2011–2014 in Leipzig, Germany (n = 8943). Main outcomes of interest were dietary frequency of animal-derived products in the last year measured using a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), body-mass-index (BMI) (kg/m2), and the Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Personality traits were assessed in a subsample of n = 7906 using the Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). Higher restriction of animal-based product intake was associated with a lower BMI, but not with depression scores. Personality, i.e., lower extraversion, was related to lower frequency of animal product intake. Moreover, personality traits were significantly associated with depressive symptoms, i.e., higher neuroticism, lower extraversion, lower agreeableness, lower conscientiousness, and with higher BMI. These findings encourage future longitudinal studies to test the efficacy of restricting animal-based products as a preventive and therapeutic strategy for overweight and obesity. View Full-Text
Keywords: body weight; diet; plant-based; meat; depression; personality; population-based; cross-sectional body weight; diet; plant-based; meat; depression; personality; population-based; cross-sectional
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MDPI and ACS Style

Medawar, E.; Enzenbach, C.; Roehr, S.; Villringer, A.; Riedel-Heller, S.G.; Witte, A.V. Less Animal-Based Food, Better Weight Status: Associations of the Restriction of Animal-Based Product Intake with Body-Mass-Index, Depressive Symptoms and Personality in the General Population. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1492.

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