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Associate Professor Felice Jacka is leading the world in the study of the links between diet and depression.
Her research has been further enhanced with the announcement of new support for her Deakin University study from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).
From Deakin’s School of Medicine, Associate Professor Jacka will study the diet and nutritional status of people with major depression.
“It is predicted that depression will be the second-most common cause of disability in the world by 2020,” she said. “It is therefore imperative that we continue developing new approaches to this common and disabling condition.
“The purpose of this project is to determine whether there is a relationship between the diet quality and nutritional status of people with clinically significant major depressive disorder and elevated anxiety symptoms and relevant biological markers.”
Deakin Research Commercial’s Director, Gary Heyden, welcomed the new funding agreement, which is worth $252,900.00.
“This is another wonderful example of the way that Deakin University’s researchers can work on projects that have a wide range of benefits to the community,” he said.
“Depending on the outcomes, there could be positive flow-on to people suffering from depression."
The MLA also welcomed the opportunity to work with some of Deakin’s world leading experts in the link between diet and depression.
“Supporting research by world recognised researchers like Associate Professor Jacka and her team at Deakin help to increase our understanding of the role red meat can play in a healthy diet," said Veronique Droulez, Senior Nutrition Manager at MLA.
Over the last several years Associate Professor Jacka has been developing an innovative program of research that examines how individuals’ diets interact with the risk for mental health problems.
This research is being carried out with the ultimate goal of developing an evidence-based public health message for the primary prevention of the common mental disorders.
She has also recently been the driving force behind establishing the new International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR).
This organisation already has 130 members from across the globe, including researchers from some of the leading universities in the US, Asia, Europe and the UK, The inaugural conference of the ISNPR was held in Tokyo, Japan, in June of this year.
“This research will help inform MLA’s communications on how to prepare and enjoy healthy meals using Australian beef, sheep and goat meat as part of a healthy diet,” Gary Heyden said.