Connections between food security and nutrition (FSN) and mental health have been analytically investigated, but conclusions are difficult to draw given the breadth of literature. Furthermore, there is little guidance for continued research. We searched three databases for analytical studies linking FSN to mental health. Out of 30,896 records, we characterized and mapped 1945 studies onto an interactive Evidence and Gap Map (EGM). In these studies, anthropometry (especially BMI) and diets were most linked to mental health (predominantly depression). There were fewer studies on infant and young child feeding, birth outcomes, and nutrient biomarkers related to anxiety, stress, and mental well-being. Two-thirds of studies hypothesized FSN measures as the exposure influencing mental health outcomes. Most studies were observational, followed by systematic reviews as the next largest category of study. One-third of studies were carried out in low- and middle-income countries. This map visualizes the extent and nature of analytical studies relating FSN to mental health and may be useful in guiding future research.
To read the paper, click here: Systematic evidence and gap map of research linking food security and nutrition to mental health