Reciprocal relationship between unhealthy eating behaviours and depressive symptoms from childhood to adolescence: 10-year follow-up of the Child and Adolescent Behaviors in Long-Term Evolution study

Wen Chi Wu, Dih Lin Luh, Ching I. Lin, Yi Chen Chiang, Chao Chia Hung, Sabrina Wang, Chi Chen Wu, Baai Shyun Hurng, Yi Han Chang, Lee Lan Yen, Hsing Yi Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective To investigate the reciprocal relationship between unhealthy eating behaviours and depressive symptoms from childhood to adolescence. Design Unhealthy eating behaviours were measured by the frequencies of eating foods with excess salt, sugar or fat in the past week. Depressive symptoms in the past two weeks were measured using a seven-item scale. Hierarchical linear growth models were used to analyse longitudinal associations between unhealthy eating behaviours and depressive symptoms. Time-fixed variables (sex, parents' education level and household monthly income) and time-varying variables (parents' marital status, family activities, body weight, vegetable or fruit consumption, exercising and smoking) were controlled for. Setting The Child and Adolescent Behaviors in Long-Term Evolution study, which commenced in 2001 and has annual follow-up. Subjects Students (n 2630) followed from 2nd grade (8 years old in 2002) to 11th grade. Results The frequency of unhealthy eating behaviours in the previous year and the difference between the frequency in the previous and successive year were positively associated with the initiation and growth rate of depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms in the previous year and the difference in depressive symptoms between the previous and successive year were positively associated with the initial state and growth rate of unhealthy eating behaviours. Conclusions Our results suggest a reciprocal relationship between depressive symptoms and unhealthy eating behaviours. This relationship should be considered when developing programmes targeting depressive symptoms and unhealthy diet in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1654-1665
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume19
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Childhood and adolescence
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Longitudinal analysis
  • Reciprocal relationship
  • Unhealthy eating behaviours

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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