Recent years have revealed an increase in depression and anxiety despite longer lifespans, reduced violent crime, and better financial status than previous generations
Anxiety rates have skyrocketed among teenagers, but adolescents are not the age group who are suffering the most from increased depression and anxiety overall.
Reports reveal that life satisfaction and happiness begin to plummet at age 35, and remain low until age 60. Adults between the ages of 65-79, when surveyed, report high levels of happiness and personal well-being.
So far, the most popular, mainstream treatment for depression is through prescription medication: anti-depressant prescriptions have doubled in 10 years in the UK, currently averaging around 70 million a year.
Dr. Mosley, a doctor who has featured on various television programs about health, claims that physical reasons for anxiety and depression are overlooked entirely in favor of psychological reasons, something that may be increasing the problem.
Dr. Mosley suggests that what people consume can affect not only their physical health but their mental health as well, and laments the lack of studies and research into the impact of diet on mental health issues.
Australian study reveals positive results for depressed patients on a healthy diet
One exception is a study recently released by Australian researchers, during which set groups of individuals with depression were either allocated increased social support or put on a so-called “Mediterranean” diet.
The group that was put on the diet had to reduce their consumption of junk food and high-sugar foods and drink and increase their consumption of fish, meat, olive oil, vegetables, and nuts.
After the 12 week study, individuals who were following the Mediterranean diet scored significantly lower for anxiety and depression than the social-support group.
Dr. Mosley looks forward to a future where students of medicine receive more training in nutrition to consider recommending a better diet rather than a prescription for future patients with depression.