Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with mental health yet few studies have examined whether foods protective or deleterious for cardiovascular disease affect mood. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between consumption of foods typical of Mediterranean and Western diets and fatty acids with positive and negative affect.

Adventist church attendees residing in North America completed a validated food frequency questionnaire in 2002-6 as part of the Adventist Health Study-2. A subset of these participants ^=9,121) completed the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) in the Biopsychosocial Religion and Health Study conducted in 2006-7. The relationship between dietary intakes to positive and negative affect measured by PANAS was analyzed. The associations were tested with linear regression analysis controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, education, body mass index, exercise, sleep, sleep squared (to account for the effects of too little or too much sleep), alcohol consumption and time between the questionnaires.

Intake of vegetables ((3=0.110[95%CI 0.090,0.130]), fruit ((3=0.069[95%CI 0.048,0.089]), olive oil ((3=0.034[95%CI 0.014,0.054]), nuts (|3=0.043[95% Cl 0.023,0.064]), and legumes (P=0.048[95%CI 0.027,0.069]) were associated with positive affect while sweets/desserts ((3=-0.065[95%CI-0.085,-0.044]), soda ((3=-0.044[95%CI- 0.064,-0.023]), fast food frequency ((3=-0.061 [95%CI-0.083,-0.040]) and trans fatty acids (|3=-0.087[95%CI-0.108,-0.067]) were inversely associated with positive affect. Intake of sweets/desserts ((3=0.055,[95%CI0.035,0.076]), fast food frequency (f3=0.070[95%CI 0.049,0.092]) and trans fatty acids ((3=0.065[95%CI-]) were associated with negative affect while intake of vegetables ((3=-0.066,[95%CI-0.087,-0.046]), fruit ((3=- 0.039[95%CI-0.060,-0.018]) and nuts ((3=-0.061 ,[95%CI-0.082,-0.041]) were inversely associated with negative affect. Gender interacted with red meat intake (/rGOOl) and fast food frequency (p

Results suggest foods typical of Mediterranean were associated with positive affect as well as lower negative affect while Western foods were associated with low positive affect in general and negative affect in women. Intakes of trans fatty acids were associated with negative affect as well as lower positive affect. More efforts are needed to study the causal effects of how food and nutrient intakes may predict affective states.


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Serena Tonstad

Second Advisor

Jerry W. Lee

Third Advisor

Karen Jaceldo-Siegl

Fourth Advisor

Wes Youngberg

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Diet Therapy; Nutrition; Emotions.



Page Count

ix; 150

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives