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The Relationship Between Diet Quality and Mental Health in Canadian Children

  • Author / Creator
    McMartin, Seanna E.
  • Mental health disorders are a significant problem facing children. Emerging research suggests there is a link between nutrition and mental health. This thesis examines the association between diet quality and mental health in children. The first objective was to examine the cross-sectional relationship between feeling worried, sad or unhappy and diet quality in grade 5 students. This study found that diet quality was significantly associated with lower odds of feeling worried, sad or unhappy. The second objective was to determine the directionality of the relationship, which examined the relationship between diet quality and internalizing disorders over a period of three years. This study found that children with greater variety in their diet had significantly lower rates of internalizing disorder in subsequent years The present findings suggest that quality of the diet rather than specific nutrients may be implicated in the development of mental health disorders. This has important implications due to the modifiable nature of individual diet. Intervention and longitudinal studies are needed to expand on the present findings.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2012-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3QM5G
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • School Public Health Sciences
  • Specialization
    • Epidemiology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Veugelers, Paul (School of Public Health Sciences)/ Colman, Ian (Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Ohinmaa, Arto (School of Public Health Sciences)
    • Willows, Noreen (Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science)