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Association of the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI-2010) with depression, stress and anxiety among Iranian military personnel

Abstract

Introduction Psychological disorders have a major role in the incidence of chronic diseases and may result in reductions in the cost-effectiveness of the Armed Forces. Previous civilian studies have shown a protective association between healthy eating guidelines and mental disorders, but evidence to support this for a military population is limited. The aim of this study was to examine the association of Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI-2010) with depression, stress and anxiety among Iranian military personnel.

Method A cross-sectional study was conducted on 246 male Army soldiers. Stress, anxiety, depression and dietary intakes were assessed. The association between variables was determined using multivariate logistic regression.

Results The prevalence of depression, stress and anxiety in study participants was 15.9%, 10.6% and 27.2% respectively. Participants with the highest adherence to the AHEI-2010 had an 80% lower odds of depression than those with the lowest adherence (OR: 0.20; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.78). Such an association was also found between adherences to the AHEI-2010 and anxiety (OR: 0.28; 95% CI 0.05 to 0.95). No significant association between adherence to the AHEI-2010 and stress was found.

Conclusion An inverse association between adherence to the AHEI-2010 and odds of depression and anxiety was found. Further studies are required to clarify this relationship.

  • Alternative Healthy Eating Index
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • military personnel

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