Skipped, delayed breakfast implicated in mood disorders
Unhealthy eating behaviours, such as delaying or skipping breakfast and eating higher proportions of food later in the day, are associated with a higher likelihood of a mood disorder among adults, a study suggests.
Researchers followed 1,304 individuals aged 26–36 years in 2004–2006 until age 31–41 years in 2009–2011. All participants reported 24-hour food and beverage intake. Principal components analysis was used to derive time-of-day eating patterns.
Three eating patterns emerged at each time-point, as follows: grazing (intake spread across the day), traditional (highest intakes reflected breakfast, lunch and dinner) and late (skipped/delayed breakfast with higher evening intakes).
During the 5-year follow-up, participants who scored in the highest intake tertile of the late pattern both at baseline and follow-up were more likely to have a mood disorder compared with those in the lowest intake tertile (prevalence ratio [PR], 2.04, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.20–3.48).
On the other hand, participants in the highest vs lowest intake tertile of the traditional pattern at both time points had a lower prevalence of first-onset mood disorder (PR, 0.31, 95 percent CI, 0.11–0.87).
In the same vein, individuals who were diagnosed with a mood disorder during follow-up were at greater odds of being in a higher late pattern score category at follow-up compared with those without the diagnosis (relative risk, 1.07, 95 percent CI, 1.00–1.14).
The researchers explained that the relationships observed in the study may be bidirectional and that preference for a later-in-the-day style of eating could be a biological or social trait that is implicated in, or predisposes an individual to, poorer mental health.