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Monday, October 8 • 1:55pm - 2:05pm
Oral 1, Talk 6. "Food addiction, nutrition knowledge and dietary intake in young people experiencing mental illness"

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Scott Teasdale1,2, Tracy Burrows3, Tegan Hayes4, Yoland Hsia4, Philip Ward2,5, Katherine Samaras6,7, Jackie Curtis1,2; 1Keeping the Body in Mind Program, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, Australia, 2School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Australia, 3School of Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, Australia, 4Nutrition and Dietetics Department, University of Sydney, Australia, 5Schizophrenia Research Unit, South Western Sydney Local Health District, Australia, 6Diabetes and Metabolism Division, Garvan Institute for Medical Research, Australia, 7Department of Endocrinology, St Vincent's Hospital, Australia
Background and Aims. Young people experiencing serious mental illness (SMI) are prone to poor physical health and a reduced life expectancy. Unhealthy dietary intake and food addiction are thought to be a key driving factors but remain unexplored. This study aims to comprehensively assess dietary intake, nutrition knowledge and food addiction, in young people with SMI.   Method. This three-arm cross sectional study of 16-25 year olds has a target sample size of n=30. Study arms include; (i) depression/anxiety, (ii) ultra-high risk for psychosis, and (iii) first-episode of psychosis. Participants self-completed three validated questionnaires, (i) Australian Eating Survey, (ii) General Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire – Revised, (iii) Yale Food Addiction Score Questionnaire.  Results. To date, 25 participants (mean age 19.6 ± 2.5 years) have completed the study. Diet quality was poor in all study arms, falling within the lowest scoring category (29 ± 13 out of 73). 43% of dietary intake was coming from ultra-processed, non-nutritive ’junk’ foods. Mean nutrition knowledge score was 51 ± 10, similar to mean scores in studies in other populations. Prevalence of food addiction was 36%, more than twice the rate found in the general population (16%). No between group differences were found in this sample.  Conclusions. This study demonstrates that unhealthy dietary intake is present in the early stages of illness likely seeding future poor physical health and should be a target for preventative intervention. Research is needed to further explore food addiction in this population, including effective intervention methods.


Scott Teasdale

University of New South Wales, Australia

Monday October 8, 2018 1:55pm - 2:05pm EDT
St. George AB Westin Copley Place, third floor