(With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy) Your diet might be a Western diet if...

With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy…

Your diet might be a Western diet if it’s raining and the closest thing you can grab to cover your head is an empty pizza box.

Your diet might be a Western diet if you can’t decide what to drink with your chicken nuggets: chocolate milk or strawberry milk.

Your diet might be a Western diet if just seeing the words “pizza box” and “chicken nuggets” makes you crave a beer.

A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry spells out the elements of a Western diet pretty clearly: “Processed or fried foods, refined grains, sugary products, and beer.”

And for women who follow such a diet for a decade or more, we can add this…

Your diet might be a Western diet if you have major depression, mild chronic depression, or anxiety disorders.

When researchers at the University of Melbourne compared psychiatric evaluations to dietary questionnaires submitted by more than 1,000 women, the results were clear: depression and anxiety disorders were far more commonplace among women who indulged in a Western diet for at least 10 years.

In addition, risk of depression and anxiety was found to be lower in women who followed a “traditional” diet of vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, and whole grains.

This seems kind of obvious, but sometimes the obvious needs to be stated outright: Your diet has a huge effect on your mental well-being.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson


“Association of Western and Traditional Diets With Depression and Anxiety in Women” American Journal of Psychiatry, Published online ahead of print 1/4/10, ajp.psychiatryonline.org