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Open AccessArticle

Examining the Role of Anxiety and Depression in Dietary Choices among College Students

1
Department of Psychology, College of Sciences; University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
2
Independent Researcher
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2061; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072061
Received: 26 May 2020 / Revised: 3 July 2020 / Accepted: 7 July 2020 / Published: 11 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
This study examines the role of anxiety and depression symptoms in predicting dietary choices in emerging adults while accounting for sex differences in these relationships. Participants were 225 English speaking undergraduates enrolled in a university in southeastern United States. Participants were recruited through an online research recruitment application utilized by the university. Participants volunteered for a two-phased anonymous survey monitoring the effects of eating habits and gastrointestinal health in young adults. As part of this effort, participants completed self-reporting measures related to anxiety and depression, as well as an automated, self-administered 24-h diet recall. Multigroup path analysis was used to test primary hypotheses. Overall, a decrease in total caloric intake and an increase in sugar consumption were found as self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression increased. In addition, there were sex differences in the relationship between depression and food choices. Men consumed more saturated fat as well as less fruits and vegetables as self-reported symptoms of depression increased. Results suggest symptoms of depression are a greater risk factor for poor nutrition in male college students than females. The findings provide another justification to screen for psychological distress in student health services given the implications on behavioral lifestyle and health. View Full-Text
Keywords: college students; dietary intake; eating behaviors; mental health; sex differences college students; dietary intake; eating behaviors; mental health; sex differences
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MDPI and ACS Style

Keck, M.M.; Vivier, H.; Cassisi, J.E.; Dvorak, R.D.; Dunn, M.E.; Neer, S.M.; Ross, E.J. Examining the Role of Anxiety and Depression in Dietary Choices among College Students. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2061. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072061

AMA Style

Keck MM, Vivier H, Cassisi JE, Dvorak RD, Dunn ME, Neer SM, Ross EJ. Examining the Role of Anxiety and Depression in Dietary Choices among College Students. Nutrients. 2020; 12(7):2061. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072061

Chicago/Turabian Style

Keck, Michelle M.; Vivier, Helize; Cassisi, Jeffrey E.; Dvorak, Robert D.; Dunn, Michael E.; Neer, Sandra M.; Ross, Emily J. 2020. "Examining the Role of Anxiety and Depression in Dietary Choices among College Students" Nutrients 12, no. 7: 2061. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072061

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