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Comparison of dietary exposure to ultra-processed foods in omnivore, vegetarian and vegan diets and depressive symptoms in Australian women


There are over 300 million people in the world who experience the symptoms of depression (World Health Organization, 2017). Research suggests that unhealthy dietary patterns, high in ultra-processed, refined and sugary foods increase the risk of depressive symptoms (Jacka et al., 2017; Parletta et al., 2017). This is particularly pertinent for plant-based dietary followers who have higher prevalence of depression than the general population (Dobersek 2021a, 2021b) and are highly marketed highly processed meat replacement products (Gehring, 2021). To date there is little evidence on the association between ultra-processed meat (omnivore) and plant-based diets (vegetarian and vegan) and depression (Lavalleee et al., 2019). This project aims to compare the association of ultra-processed food consumption and depressive symptoms in omnivore, vegan and vegetarian women in Australia across time.