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Does Diet/Nutrition Affect Mental Health in Teenagers?

The food people eat is closely linked to their mental health and emotions. There are multifaceted ways in which an individual’s choices and attitudes concerning food affect their states of mind. For this reason, it is important for mental health providers for teenagers to incorporate particular nutritional plans.*can you provide an example? This should apply not just to teenagers that have eating disorders, but also to those that exhibit signs of depression, trauma, anxiety, and related conditions. The key aim of this particular research paper is to analyze the effects of diet or nutrition on teenagers’ mental health. In essence, most young people have good mental health. However, some suffer from emotional, physical, and social challenges, which makes them vulnerable to poor mental health. Young people go through an important stage of their lives, where developing and ultimately maintaining emotional and social habits necessary for health minds is critical.*unclear Good nutrition and diet coupled with supportive environments are crucial for good mental health. Furthermore, they*who? need to develop coping mechanisms that protect them from the risk factors. For instance, apart from good diet and nutrition, taking regular exercises, healthy sleeping patterns, interpersonal skills, and learning how to manage their emotions are vital to mental well-being.

Research Question

The paper seeks to explore the key relationship between diet/nutrition and mental health in teenagers. The research question for the paper is, “Does diet/nutrition affect mental health in teenagers?” This question is important because most of the studies of mental health in young people have failed to consider the role of diet/nutrition in fostering mental health in teenagers. They have tended to concentrate on other causes, such as substance abuse, poor parenting, the environment, and peer pressure, among others. Therefore, the researcher wishes to examine the role of diet/nutrition to expand the existing body of knowledge about mental health and young people.

The research question is causal because it seeks to establish whether a variable leads to one or more outcome variables. In effect, the question seeks to establish the cause and the effect; in the study, the researcher will ascertain whether diet or nutrition affects the mental health of young people positively or negatively. In effect, the research question will seek to establish or identify the relationship between various variables upon one group (teenagers). When examining a causal research question, the researcher will identify the cause and the variables that it affects.

Research indicates that most mental health disorders among adolescents because of the poor food choices they make and the lifestyles they lead (Bezyak, Clark, Chiu, & Testerman, 2016). Such harmful eating disorders are marked by harmful eating behaviors that restrict the intake of sufficient calories. Bulimia nervosa and anorexia include the preoccupation with food, the individual’s shape of the body, and body weight. People that have an excessive occupation with food often experience guilt, distress, and self-disgust. Eating disorders have been established as detrimental to the individual’s health; they often go together with anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Hence, it is important for individuals with the above disorders to seek urgent medical attention because early intervention has a high chance of positive outcomes. Besides, the longer the individual suffers from such problems, the higher the chances of developing other complications.


The hypothesis is that diet and nutrition have a positive effect on the mental health of teenagers. The meaning of positive mental health is that young people will record improved mental health and will be in a position to carry out their normal duties without hindrance. This hypothesis is directional because it predicts that the independent variable will affect the dependent variable in a given way. For instance, a good diet and nutrition (independent variable) will have a positive effect on mental health (dependent variable) among teenagers. If the research question was descriptive, the research question would simply state that the nutrient or diet has some relationship with the mental health of young people.

The hypothesis is driven by theory because finding data on the mental states of young people and linking it to healthy eating habits is difficult. The researcher will examine credible, peer-reviewed sources that examine the subject comprehensively. The researcher will equally review some of the publications that illustrate the link between physical and mental well-being and eventually link the findings to the study. The objective is to come up with credible and valid results that can be used for policy formulation and decision-making. In essence, the objective is to show that healthy food is not the reserve of the upper-class members of society. On the contrary, it will show that city and urban dwellers have options they could use to ensure they feed on healthy products for the sake of their mental health and overall wellbeing.

Sufficient food and the right amount of beverages provide the nutrients and energy the body needs to improve health, prevent diseases, and reduce the risks of opportunistic diseases. The research will be linked to the Good Food Revolution, which is a food manifesto and an inspirational memoir that shows how an individual struggles to transform some abandoned greenhouses in one of the poor neighborhoods of Milwaukee into innovative and thriving farms that provide fresh food to the many people that need it (Allen, & Wilson, 2013). The research will show that people do not have to resort to junk food and other unhealthy eating habits if they need to develop both physically and mentally. The research will focus on young people because they are most at risk of making poor choices about food and nutrition. Furthermore, some do not understand the link between nutrition and mental health; the research findings will seek to fill this knowledge gap to ensure that they make their food and nutrition choices from positions of knowledge. 

The Good Food Revolution (2013) outlines how people can grow and benefit from eating health foods. Allen uses personal examples to underscore the need for people to eat healthy foods. Young people should be encouraged to use the opportunities at their disposal to cultivate their crops to ensure they eat healthy and fresh produce. Such foods have a fundamental positive effect on mental wellness; the book could be seen as a challenge to the current culture where industrial food has gained traction among many families. There is a need for a cultural change to encourage people to turn to healthy eating through farming because it will boost their physical and mental health.

Young people could learn from Allen that farming is not the preserve of certain groups of people. In any case, he left the corporate world and embarked on a mission to feed the nation using natural means. His story is one of new heroism; he demonstrates how people can change perceptions about farming and gain in very unusual ways. It might be understandable that some young people might not make the connection between healthy eating and mental wellness. However, Allen’s story should be a pointer to the need to make decisions that affect life in positive ways. Mental wellness does not imply the absence of mental illness. On the contrary, it implies an individual capable of making the right decisions and being in a state of balance at all times.

Definition of the Topic

The research paper will investigate how diet and nutrition affect the mental health of young people and establish whether a connection between nutrition and mental health exists.Teenagers require good mental health to enable them to develop in a healthy way, create and maintain robust social relationships, and develop skills they need to face the challenges that inevitably come with their age. Physical health corresponds with mental health. Young people should be encouraged to lead active lives, eat well-balanced diets, ensure they receive sufficient sleep, and avoid alcohol and other harmful substances. Mental health challenges that confront young people include anxiety, depression, and other behavioral challenges. Alarmingly, most young people that report mental health challenges do not receive the right interventions. Most of the young people do not understand that their emotional health is just as important as their physical health and that eating healthy foods and leading active lives enables the body to ward off mental health complications.

Diet refers to the food and drinks an individual consumes and the physical and mental circumstances associated with eating. Nutrition entails more than an appropriate diet because it involves nourishment at every level. It also entails the relationships the teenager has with his or her family, friends, the environment, their bodies, and the community. Incidentally, choices about diet and nutrition are intricately linked to physical and mental health and so the choices people make have a significant impact on their wellbeing.

Background Research

Most people understand that taking healthy meals and sufficient amounts of water make them feel better. However, some do not understand the effects of a healthy diet or nutrition contributes to their mental health. Besides, people that eat foods rich in sugar often feel sluggish or tired. As a result, there should be no reason to doubt the effect nutrition or diet has on the mental health of an individual. This is especially pertinent to young people because their bodies experience rapid growth and development.

Overconsumption of sugary foods has been known to have an adverse impact when it comes to the mental wellbeing of young people. Research shows that better nutrition and diet is not only for the health of the body. On the contrary, it has a positive effect when it comes to the mental well-being of the individual. The problem does not affect adults only because young people are most at risk of mental complications that are directly linked to the food they consume. Currently, mental health problems affect an unacceptably high number of young people because of the choices they make concerning the food they consume. According to Wattick, Hagedorn, and Olfert (2018), mental health disorders affect close to 22.1% of all Americans aged between 18 and 25 years, and this amounts to the utmost frequency rate of any age particular group. Notably, the conditions most common among young people entail anxiety and depression, and this has been attributed to a serotine deficiency. Most patients do not favor medication for mental health because of a host of reasons, one of which is the stigma that such diseases carry. In this respect, it is important to address the stigmatization of mental health that often hinders people from seeking professional help whenever they have problems. *there is some redundancy in the writing

As noted earlier, young people are most in need of good nutrition and diet to enable them to develop in a normal way. However, most of the research concerning the link between mental health and adults have tended to focus on adults (Clark, Bezyak, & Testerman, 2015)). In this respect, it is imperative for young people to understand that the food they consume contributes significantly to their mental well-being. Subsequently, they will be in a position to make informed diseases about their food choices. Research shows that Vitamin D is one of the nutrients that has a positive effect on mental health. Vitamin D deficiency has been known to contribute to depression, cognitive impairment, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder (Jonikas et al., 2016). As a result, most mental health professionals recommend sufficient intake of foods rich in Vitamin D. An individual’s food should ideally contain sufficient colored vegetables and fruits, fish, and reduce the excess calories. The strict implementation of such a diet could result in the improved mental health of young people. However, most professionals recommend consultation with a physician.

According to Barre et al. (2011), certain barriers to healthy feeding exists among mental health patients. The research showed that most of the barriers centered on negative perceptions of healthy eating habits. In this regard, it will be important to educate people that nothing negative exists regarding healthy eating. Young people have to learn that the choices they make concerning the food they consume have critical implications for their health. In doing so, they will be more informed and prepared to make the right decisions while educating their peers about the advantages they stand to gain regarding their mental health. Improving diet is a critical public health goal and so there is a need to investigate some of the barriers to healthy eating among teenagers. *more information on the research would be helpful in making your claim

There is a correlation between poor dietary intakes and the prevalence of mental illness such as depression and anxiety. Young people and their families should understand that a high potential for health gain if they choose to consume healthy meals at all times. The influence in which the young people are raised contributes to the poor food choices they make. However, this problem could be overcome if they choose some creative and innovative ways of producing their food. In The Good Food Revolution, Allen (2013) outlines the immense potential that exists if people elect to cultivate their food rather than depend on unhealthy products that do not add value to their health statuses. *more!

Socioeconomic factors such as the level of income and education have a positive relationship with the right diet choices (Seguin, Connor, Nelson, LaCroix, & Eldridge, 2014). Modern youth have access to a large body of knowledge concerning the food choices they make. They should exploit this information to ensure they make the right choices. In line with the above, they should shun certain lifestyles that predispose them to poor health. For instance, some lead sedentary lifestyles because of physical inactivity (McMorrow, Ludbrook, Macdiarmid, & Olajide, 2017). It is imprudent to expect good mental and physical health without investing in physical activity. Equally important is the need to shun the consumption of alcohol because it negates all efforts made towards healthy living. It is regrettable that a large percentage of young people understand what a healthy diet constitutes but many fail to exploit the knowledge to their advantage.

From The Good Food Revolution, young people can learn to turn their backs on poor food in favor of healthy food. Allen ascertained that food from convenience stores and fast food restaurants was unfit not only for himself but also for the locals. He faced financial hurdles and daunting odds but overcame these challenges to construct an urban farm and educational center. Furthermore, he employed young people from the neighborhood, which shows that the right food choices could have other benefits as well. From the book, young people could learn valuable lessons from their counterparts; the employment that Allen gave the troubled youths served to dismantle systematic racism, created jobs, and brought families together. In view of this, the decision to cultivate fresh food helped to improve public health. This shows that a direct connection between healthy eating habits and public health exists. On the same note, The Good Food Revolution shows that one does not require immense resources to turn a viable idea into something productive. On the contrary, it shows that having a creative mind and making the right food choices are critical to changing perceptions about food and mental health.

Measurement of Mental Health

Effective measurement is critical for public health to appreciate the trends and health status over time. Equally, measurement is important to ascertain the effectiveness of the chosen intervention measures. However, mental health is difficult to measure; mental wellness presents unique challenges not seen in other areas of public health. The most accurate measure of health is mortality data, but this does not capture the incidence or prevalence of mental illness or the disability it causes. Admittedly, mortality could apply to suicide and similar trends over a period. In view of the above challenges, there is a need for more research into the contribution of mental wellness and overall mortality. Therefore, prevalence rates depend on diagnosis but this depends on access to health services.

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