Depression is one of the most prevalent and disabling disorders in the EU

Lifetime prevalence of depression varies from 10% to 25% in women, with an average prevalence of 20%. For men, the lifetime prevalence is 5% to 12% with an average of 10%. About 6% of the population meets the criteria for major depressive disorder at any time, placing a heavy burden on individuals and their families

Possible link between nutrition and psychological health

Recent studies suggest a bi-directional link between healthy nutrition and psychological health (Akbaraly et al. 2009; Sanchez‐Villegas et al. 2009; Jacka et al. 2010). It is yet unclear whether nutritional behaviour influences the development of depression in a direct manner or whether other mechanisms like social environment or obesity are also involved as (Luppino et al. 2010).

Obesity rates are increasing in Europe

Current obesity rates range between 8.0%‐23.9% for women and 7.6%‐24.7% in men ‐ among the 19 Member States (Eurostat 2011), these potential mechanisms need to be addressed (Joint Programming Initiative 2012) to assess their impact on depression rates


Results coming soon! Stay tuned for the MooDFOOD projects final results and recommended nutritional strategies for preventing depression through diet due in Autumn 2018


The MoodFOOD project involves a multidisciplinary consortium involving 13 organizations in 9 European countries, using a unique integrative approach which combines expertise in nutrition, consumer behaviour, psychiatry and preventive psychology.

On January 1 2014, the MoodFOOD project commenced, led by Marjolein Visser and Ingeborg Brouwer of the Department of Health Sciences from the VU University. It was granted nearly €9 million to investigate how food intake, nutrient status, food‐related behaviour and obesity are linked to the development of depression over 5 years. This has allowed researchers to combine existing high quality data from longitudinal prospective European cohort studies with new data from surveys, short-term experiments and a long-term preventative trial. Final MooDFOOD results and findings are due out late 2018!

See more details in the MooDFOOD project leaflet: Click Here