Poor Fruit & Vegetable Intake Common Among People Experiencing Psychosis


Nearly three-quarters of people who identify as experiencing psychosis eat less than four servings of fruit and vegetables per day, according to research published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

According to the team of Australian researchers, the data sample included 1286 adults aged 18–64 years who took part in an Australian national survey of psychosis. They answered questions about their diet, and also provided blood samples.

“Approximately 74% of participants ate less than four servings of fruit and vegetables daily,” the researchers wrote. This behavior was also associated with a lower body mass index, lower levels of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, substance use, and more negative symptoms and financial difficulty. Smoking was a particularly strong predictor of poor eating.

“The findings suggest that poor diet in people with psychosis, as reflected by less than four servings of fruit and vegetables daily, is accompanied by other unhealthy behaviours, which has important implications for the development of effective interventions,” concluded the researchers.

Inadequate fruit and vegetable intake in people with psychosis (Hahn, Lisa A. et al. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. Published online before print October 8, 2014. doi: 10.1177/0004867414553950)