Higher Dietary Inflammatory Index Scores Are Associated With Stress and Anxiety in Dormitory-Residing Female University Students in the United Arab Emirates

Amita Attlee, Coumaravelou Saravanan, Nitin Shivappa, Michael D. Wirth, Mashael Aljaberi, Reem Alkaabi, Mo'ath F. Bataineh, James R. Hebert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dormitory-residing university students are at-risk of mental health problems related to unhealthy diets. The purpose of this study was to assess the association between dietary inflammatory potential and mental health of dormitory-residing female university students. This cross-sectional study was comprised of 260 undergraduate females residing in dormitories of the largest university in United Arab Emirates during Spring 2019. The Energy-adjusted Dietary Inflammatory Index (E-DIITM) scores calculated from 37 food parameters were derived from two 24-h dietary recalls. The logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs for the E-DII score in relation to depression, anxiety, and stress. The E-DII scores (mean = 2.98 ± 1.17) were categorized into: tertile 1 (−1.96–2.62), tertile 2 (2.63–3.52), and tertile 3 (3.53–5.60), representing less to more proinflammatory diets. Students in the E-DII tertile 3 had significantly higher depression, anxiety, and stress scores. The logistic regression analysis showed that each point increase in the E-DII score was associated with symptoms of stress (OR = 1.41; 95% CI: 1.12–1.77; p = 0.003) and anxiety (OR = 1.35; 95% CI: 1.07–1.69; p = 0.01). Relative to students in the E-DII tertile 1, those students in the E-DII tertile 3 were more likely to be at higher risk of stress and anxiety ORE−DIItertile3vs1 = 2.89 (1.44–5.79) and 2.88 (1.49–5.56), respectively. Overall, stress and anxiety were associated with proinflammatory diets in dormitory-residing female university students, suggesting the need for targeted interventions to increase the anti-inflammatory capacity of diet and improve mental wellbeing in students on university campuses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number814409
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 10 2022

Keywords

  • Dietary Inflammatory Index
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • dormitory
  • stress
  • students
  • university

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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