Project Description

Growing Happy, Healthy Young Minds

Edited by Dr Ramesh Manocha & Gyongyi Horvath
To read the full chapter go to Volume 1, chapter 21, pp. 323-334.


Professor Felice Jacka

Director of the Food and Mood Centre, Deakin University

Professor Felice Jacka is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow at Deakin University, where she is Director of the Food and Mood Centre. She is president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) and immediate past president of the Australian Alliance for the Prevention of Mental Disorders (APMD). Professor Jacka has pioneered and led a highly innovative program of research that examines how individuals’ diets, and other lifestyle behaviours, interact with the risk for mental health problems.


This chapter will provide an overview of the evidence linking diet to mental health, including in young people. It will provide evidence-based suggestions for the prevention and treatment of common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.

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Food and Mood Centre:

International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research:

Drew Ramsey, MD:

Dawson, SL, Dash, SR & Jacka, FN 2016, ‘The Importance of Diet and Gut Health to the Treatment and Prevention of Mental Disorders’, Int Rev Neurobiol, vol. 131, pp 325–346.

Jacka, FN 2015, ‘Lifestyle factors in preventing mental health disorders: An interview with Felice Jacka’, BMC Medicine, vol. 13(1).

Jacka, FN, Cherbuin, N, Anstey, KJ, Sachdev, P, Butterworth, P 2015, ‘Western diet is associated with a smaller hippocampus: A longitudinal investigation’, BMC Medicine, vol. 13(1).

Jacka, FN, Ystrom, E, Brantsaeter, AL, Karevold, E, Roth, C, Haugen, M, Meltzer, HM, Schjolberg, S & Berk, M 2013, ‘Maternal and Early Postnatal Nutrition and Mental Health of Offspring by Age 5 Years: A Prospective Cohort Study’, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 52(10).

Jacka, FN, Mykletun, A & Berk, M 2012, ‘Moving towards a population health approach to primary prevention of common mental disorders’, BMC Medicine, vol. 10(1).

Jacka, FN, Kremer, PJ, Berk, M, de Silva-Sanigorski, AM, Moodie, M, Leslie, ER, Pasco, JA & Swinburn, BA 2011, ‘A Prospective Study of Diet Quality and Mental Health in Adolescents,’ PLoS ONE, vol. 6(9).

Jacka, FN, Pasco, JA, Mykletun, A, Williams, LJ, Hodge, AM, O’Reilly, SL, Nicholson, GC, Kotowicz, MA & Berk, M 2010, ‘Association of Western and Traditional Diets With Depression and Anxiety in Women’, American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. (3).

O’Neil, A, Itsiopoulos, C, Skouteris, H, Opie, RS, Mcphie, S, Hill, B & Jacka, FN 2014, ‘Preventing mental health problems in offspring by targeting dietary intake of pregnant women’, BMC Medicine, vol. 12(208).

Opie, RS, Itsiopoulos, C, Parletta, N, Sanchez-Villegas, A, Akbaraly, T, Ruusunen, A & Jacka, FN 2015, ‘Dietary recommendations for the prevention of depression’, Nutritional Neuroscience.

Sarris, J, Logan, AC, Akbaraly, TN, Amminger, P, Balanzá-Martínez, V, Freeman, MP, Hibbeln, J, Matsuoka, Y, Mischoulon, D, Mizoue, T, Nanri, A, Nishi, D, Ramsey, D, Rucklidge, JJ, Sanchez-Villegas, A, Scholey, A, Su, K-P & Jacka, FN 2015, ‘Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry’, The Lancet Psychiatry, vol. 2(3)

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