J Nutr Health.  2021 Apr;54(2):152-164. 10.4163/jnh.2021.54.2.152.

Association between depression and eating behavior factors in Korean adults: the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2018

Affiliations
  • 1Food and Nutrition Major, School of Wellness Industry Convergence, Hankyong National University, Anseong 17579, Korea
  • 2Food and Nutrition Major, Division of Food Science & Culinary Arts, Shinhan University, Uijeongbu 11644, Korea

Abstract

Purpose
This study aimed to examine the association between depression and eating behavior factors in Korean adults.
Methods
Study subjects were selected (n = 5,103) from the participants of the 7th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2018 and divided into depression (men, 59; women, 162) and normal groups (men, 2,083; women, 2,799). Subjects with a Patient Health Questionnaire 9 score ≥ 10 (out of 27 points) were defined as having depression.
Results
A higher prevalence of depression was observed in both men and women who were unemployed (p < 0.001, p = 0.008), had lower income (both p < 0.001), poorer subjective health (both p < 0.001), and poor food safety (both p < 0.001). The prevalence of depression was higher in women with lower education levels (p = 0.008), who were unmarried (p = 0.010), smokers (p < 0.001), and in a one-person household (p = 0.001). Obese men showed a higher prevalence of depression (p = 0.009). Men who were eating alone or skipping lunch had a high prevalence of depression (p = 0.009), while women who were eating breakfast (p = 0.012), lunch (p = 0.001), and dinner (p = 0.010) alone had a high prevalence of depression. The relationship analysis between men and women according to dietary habits using logistic regression showed that, in women, after variable adjustment, skipping lunch (odds ratio [OR], 2.677; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.090–6.574), meal frequency of 2 times per day (OR, 1.658; 95% CI, 1.084–2.536), and lunch frequency of 3–4 times per week (OR, 3.143; 95% CI, 1.725–5.728) were significantly associated with a higher prevalence of depression.
Conclusion
Depression in women was not only affected by more sociodemographic variables but also associated with decreased frequency of lunch and dinner, especially with skipping lunch.

Keyword

depression; PHQ-9; eating behavior; dietary habits; adult
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