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Psychosis and cardiovascular disease: Is diet the missing link?



Well-known member
Mar 23, 2009

To explore the diets of people living with psychotic disorders, and to compare their dietary composition to the general population.

184 people with psychotic disorders in Adelaide, South Australia completed a food frequency questionnaire. Physical information and mental health status were collected. Outcome measures included energy and macronutrient intake; fish, sodium, fruit and vegetable intake; micro-nutrient intake; body mass index; waist circumference; and diagnoses of diabetes and hypertension. The RDI of nutrients was derived from Australian Government publications. Comparison dietary data was obtained from surveys carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The majority of participants were overweight or obese (78%) and 77.5% met the criteria for at-risk waist circumference; and 58% of participants consumed salt and saturated fat in excess of the RDI. Most did not achieve the RDI for fruits and vegetables (97.8%), fibre (88.6%), fish (61.4%), magnesium (73.4%) or folate (86.4%). Women with psychosis had significantly higher intakes of vitamins and minerals compared to women in the general population. Men and women with psychosis consumed more daily total fat, saturated fat and sodium compared to adults in the Australian population, but lower fibre and vitamin E than their male and female counterparts.

People with psychosis, especially women, report poor dietary choices including increased energy and fat intake, heightening their risk for cardiovascular disease. Women with psychosis report higher intake of vitamins and minerals than women in the general population. Whilst dietary intake contributes to obesity in psychosis, other factors including antipsychotic agents, decreased physical activity and smoking add to the cardiovascular risk.

Psychosis and cardiovascular disease: Is diet the missing link? - PubMed - NCBI

I think irrespective of levels of motivation and negative symptoms if you are on low income,as many with schizophrenia are, then the cheaper foods are the the high fat high calorie items and budgetary necessity will push people to opt for them.
It is irresponsible to talk of poor diets without tackling the economic and social factors related to the problem.
We need more pdocs pressing for progressive economic and social change.


Well-known member
Oct 21, 2014
Also a lot of people are overweight because of the antipsychotic drugs. They increase your appetite and you crave unhealthy food. And the sedating effect means less exercise, more sitting around or sleeping.
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