Diet quality and mental health in college students: impact on dietary factors including intake of protein, sugar, vegetable and omega-3 fatty acid on depression


Yulu Wang


Tolar-Peterson, Terezie

Committee Member

Norwood, Arnita

Committee Member

Mathews, Rahel

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 1 Year||12/15/2021

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Depression is one of the most debilitating disorders among youth. Many factors impact depression risk, and dietary quality is one of the most significant modifiable factors. This work was to investigate whether diet quality, including protein, sugar, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids’ intake, had any effect on the development of depression. Data from 82 subjects were used for analysis. There was no significant relationship between Dietary Quality Index (p=.21, n=82) and depression based on this research. Results included total protein (p=.77, n=82), animal-based protein (p=.77, n=82), vegetable-based protein (p=.29, n=82), total sugar (p=.55, n=78), added sugar (p=.48, n=78), total vegetable (p=.56, n=82) and omega3 fatty acids (p=.92, n=82). These results were not up to expectations and did not conform to previous findings. Future research should be performed with a larger sample size among the college-aged population to determine the relationship between dietary factors and depression risk.



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