Objectives: To investigate the associations between dietary patterns and mental health status of female university students.
Methods: Self-administered questionnaires consisting of measures of food intake frequency and mental health status were completed by 320 female university students. Food intake frequency was assessed using the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Then, dietary patterns were identified by cluster analysis. The 28-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) was used to evaluate students’ mental health status. Relationships between the dietary patterns and the mental health status were analyzed.
Results: We identified three dietary patterns. “The Japanese foods pattern in youth” was a representative food intake pattern of this generation. “The light eating pattern” had lower intakes of most items but higher intakes of soft drinks, and was not interested in nutrition balance. “The dairy products pattern” had higher intakes of dairy products and sweets, and were significantly associated with high scores of GHQ-28 subscale anxiety and insomnia.
Conclusion: The dietary patterns are associated with the mental health status of female university students.