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Matt Owens-Solari & Owain Winfield (University of Exeter) - MooDFOOD: An overview of a randomised controlled trial for the prevention of depression using nutritional strategies

A Mood Disorders Centre seminar
Date20 January 2017
Time12:00 to 13:30
PlaceMood Disorders Centre G17

Mood Disorder Centre Think-Tank seminar series. All welcome.

Matt Owens-Solari & Owain Winfield (University of Exeter) will be giving a seminar with the title 'MooDFOOD: An overview of a randomised controlled trial for the prevention of depression using nutritional strategies'.

The Think-Tank seminar series is organised by Heather O’Mahen, Lorna Cook, Matthew Owens-Solari and Matthew Lomas (mdcadmin@exeter.ac.uk).


MooDFOOD is a collaborative European Commission-funded project (€8.9 million) investigating the role of diet and lifestyle changes in preventing depression in high-risk overweight individuals. The Mood Disorders Centre, University of Exeter is one of four countries (UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain) running this multi-site randomised controlled trial, There is now growing research evidence to suggest that healthy diets, nutrition and food-related behaviour play a key role in the prevention of depression particularly for people prone to being overweight.
Overweight and obesity are on the rise, globally, and both confer an additional risk for future episodes of depression. Specifically, the evidence suggests that adhering to a ‘Mediterranean-style diet’ (e.g. plenty of fruit and vegetables, fish and olive oil) may act as a protective factor against developing depression. Similarly, lifestyle interventions involving the promotion of healthy eating practices may also be beneficial in preventing depression by encouraging healthy habits that lead to lasting behavioural change.

Further, research has also shown that specific nutrients found in the diet, or used as a supplement, may be important in preventing depression. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, for instance, have been shown to relieve symptoms of depressed patients. Despite this growing body of evidence, however, there have been few randomised controlled trials to date that test the complex relationship between food and mood. The MooDFOOD trial is designed to test two nutritional strategies (food-related behavioural change and multi-nutrient supplementation) on the prevention of depression over a 12-month period.

In this Think Tank presentation an overview of the MooDFOOD trial will be given followed by a discussion of the issues.

Suggested reading Roca, M.  et al. 2016. Prevention of depression through nutritional strategies in high-risk persons: rationale and design of the MooDFOOD prevention trial. BMC Psychiatry. https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-016-0900-z

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