Mental Health Awareness Month: How Mental Health Affects Your Nutrition

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Jessica Patterson

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The National Alliance on Mental Illness found that 20.6% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2019.

Registered Dietitian and Assistant Director of Health Education and Nutrition Services on the University of Alabama Sheena Gregg mentioned that somebody would possibly use their diet to deal with their psychological well being.

A study by Karen Mitchell in 2012 exhibits a correlation between post-traumatic stress dysfunction and consuming issues. Approximately one-third of ladies with bulimia, 20% with binge consuming dysfunction and 11.8% with different consuming issues met the standards for lifetime PTSD.

Gregg mentioned a lot of her purchasers have skilled trauma of their lives.

“They’re emotionally consuming. People wish to numb themselves with using meals. Food does have the power to launch endorphins, and it typically will increase our serotonin ranges. You can see that connection between psychological well being and somebody’s subsequent dietary habits,” mentioned Gregg.

According to Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, roughly seven in 10 girls and ladies report a decline in physique confidence pushed by the stress for perfection and unrealistic magnificence requirements.

Gregg mentioned that the media tends to deal with bulimia and even glamorizes anorexia because the “fairly consuming dysfunction,” however doesn’t at all times embody binge consuming beneath the identical umbrella.

“The cause we don’t hear about it as a lot is that many occasions somebody with binge consuming dysfunction can current an chubby or overweight standing. Their doctor would possibly label it as basic overeating however not make the psychological well being connection there. They could not notice that this individual is participating in sure varieties of consuming behaviors, such because the bingeing as a consequence of some psychological well being misery,” added Gregg.

There are psychological well being tendencies that point out dietary struggles. Avoiding social conditions, dropping power, or having dramatic weight modifications are indicators of disordered consuming. Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report discovered that 79% of ladies and 85% of ladies admit to opting out of occasions once they don’t really feel they give the impression of being their greatest.

Gregg mentioned that there’s an underlying stress that contributes to psychological well being when you find yourself in a social setting and always evaluating your self to your friends. She recommends discovering a social help group to seek out consolation and speak about struggles.

Meeting with a registered dietitian or licensed skilled is essentially the most important step that somebody must take when dealing with disordered consuming.

You can be taught extra data on psychological well being and diet at National Eating Disorder Association.

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