Date Published: July 13, 2017
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): Atsuhito Toyomaki, Minori Koga, Emiko Okada, Yukiei Nakai, Akane Miyazaki, Akiko Tamakoshi, Yoshinobu Kiso, Ichiro Kusumi, Saikat Dewanjee.
Several studies indicate that dietary habits are associated with mental health. We are interested in identifying not a specific single nutrient/food group but the population preferring specific food combinations that can be related to mental health. Very few studies have examined relationships between dietary patterns and multifaceted mental states using cluster analysis. The purpose of this study was to investigate population-level dietary patterns associated with mental state using cluster analysis. We focused on depressive state, sleep quality, subjective well-being, and impulsive behaviors using rating scales. Two hundred and seventy-nine Japanese middle-aged people participated in the present study. Dietary pattern was estimated using a brief self-administered diet-history questionnaire (the BDHQ). We conducted K-means cluster analysis using thirteen BDHQ food groups: milk, meat, fish, egg, pulses, potatoes, green and yellow vegetables, other vegetables, mushrooms, seaweed, sweets, fruits, and grain. We identified three clusters characterized as “vegetable and fruit dominant,” “grain dominant,” and “low grain tendency” subgroups. The vegetable and fruit dominant group showed increases in several aspects of subjective well-being demonstrated by the SF-8. Differences in mean subject characteristics across clusters were tested using ANOVA. The low frequency intake of grain group showed higher impulsive behavior, demonstrated by BIS-11 deliberation and sum scores. The present study demonstrated that traditional Japanese dietary patterns, such as eating rice, can help with beneficial changes in mental health.
Dietary habits affect mental health as well as physical well-being. For example, several studies have found that eating habits are associated with mental health, such as depression, sleep disturbances, severity of dementia, and subjective well-being.
A total of 282 (110 female and 172 male) participants with complete data were included in this study. For the number of clusters, we decided to use a three cluster solution since it was reasonably sized (>10% of the sample size). The means and standard deviations of standardized value of each food consumption frequency across clusters demonstrated that the identified clusters varied in consumption frequency of key food groups. Cluster 1 (n = 72) was characterized by higher intake of fruit, vegetables, and milk. We labeled this the “vegetable and fruit dominant” group. Cluster 2 (n = 106) was characterized by higher intake of grain and thus was labeled the “grain dominant” group. Cluster 3 (n = 104) was characterized by extremely low intake of grain and thus was labeled the “low grain tendency” group.
The present study investigated the association of dietary patterns and various mental health measures among healthy middle-aged Japanese people using cluster analysis. We identified three clusters characterized as “vegetable and fruit dominant,” “grain dominant,” and “low grain tendency” subgroups. The vegetable and fruit dominant group showed increases in several aspects of subjective well-being demonstrated by SF-8 BP GH (General Health) and Bodily Pain (BP). The low frequency intake of grain group showed higher levels of impulsive behavior demonstrated by BIS-11 deliberation and sum scores.