Original Article

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010) 64, 832–839; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.86; published online 19 May 2010

Dietary patterns and depressive symptoms among Japanese men and women

A Nanri1, Y Kimura2, Y Matsushita1, M Ohta3, M Sato4, N Mishima5, S Sasaki6 and T Mizoue1

  1. 1Department of Epidemiology and International Health, International Clinical Research Center, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2Department of Nutrition and Life Science, Fukuyama University, Fukuyama, Japan
  3. 3Department of Health Development, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan
  4. 4Department of Applied Biological Chemistry, Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  5. 5Ikemi Memorial Clinic of Mind-Body Medicine, Fukuoka, Japan
  6. 6Department of Social and Preventive Epidemiology, School of Public Health, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence: Dr A Nanri, Department of Epidemiology and International Health, International Clinical Research Center, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Toyama 1-21-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8655, Japan. E-mail: nanri@ri.ncgm.go.jp

Received 29 October 2009; Revised 9 March 2010; Accepted 9 March 2010; Published online 19 May 2010.





Although several studies have reported associations of depressive state with specific nutrients and foods, few studies examined the association with dietary patterns in adults. We investigated the association between major dietary patterns and depressive symptoms in Japanese.



Subjects were 521 municipal employees (309 men and 212 women), aged 21–67 years, who participated in a health survey at the time of periodic checkup. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale. Dietary patterns were derived by using principal component analysis of the consumption of 52 food and beverage items, which was assessed by a validated brief diet history questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios of depressive symptoms (CES-D greater than or equal to16) with adjustment for potential confounding variables.



We identified three dietary patterns. A healthy Japanese dietary pattern characterized by high intakes of vegetables, fruit, mushrooms and soy products was associated with fewer depressive symptoms. The multivariate-adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of having depressive symptoms for the lowest through highest tertiles of the healthy Japanese dietary pattern score were 1.00 (reference), 0.99 (0.62–1.59) and 0.44 (0.25–0.78), respectively (P for trend=0.006). Other dietary patterns were not appreciably associated with depressive symptoms.



Our findings suggest that a healthy Japanese dietary pattern may be related to decreased prevalence of depressive status.


cross-sectional studies; depression; dietary patterns; Japanese



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