Are fruit and vegetables good for your mental health as well as your physical health?
Sarah Stewart-Brown 11 November 2012
Eating fruit and vegetables could be good for your mental health. This column explores the evidence, arguing that better surveys need to be carried out if we are to accurately establish causality. If we can understand how mental health is linked to diet, the benefits to the public – and those who decide public policy – could be huge.
Public health policy has an enormous impact on national wellbeing (Delaney, Smith and McGovern 2011). A study recently published in Social Indicators Research (Blanchflower, Oswald and Stewart-Brown 2012) investigated the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and mental health. The study drew upon three robust, representative, cross-sectional studies of random samples of adults in three UK countries; England, Scotland, and Wales. Each of these surveys gathered self-reported intake data, measured in portions of fruit and vegetables of up to eight or more a day.
health, Mental health, diet, mental illness
Cannabis use and mental health problems
Jan van Ours, Jenny Williams 19 September 2009
There is growing evidence of a link between mental health problems and cannabis use. Is it causal? This column shows that cannabis use, particularly frequent use, does have an adverse effect on mental health. Unobserved factors that make individuals more likely to use cannabis do also make them more susceptible to mental illness, but using marijuana has an additional causal impact.
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug. Over the last thirty years, the average age of first marijuana usage has fallen and its lifetime prevalence has risen in most developed countries. Cannabis' popularity is derived from the mild euphoria associated with its consumption and from the generally held belief that its health consequences are rather benign. However, there is growing evidence of an association between mental health problems and cannabis use (Degenhardt et al. 2003; Arseneault et al. 2004).
cannabis, Mental health