Pychodietetics sites a number of studies that were done looking at the connection between diet and mental wellness.
In one such study, Israeli researchers evaluated 10 psychiatric patients. Six of the ten had never had any emotional problems prior to their first attempt at rapid weight loss. There appeared to be a direct correlation between the severity of their mental condition and the speed and amount of weight the patient lost. The researchers concluded that there must be a considerable incidence of less serious and, therefore, unreported emotional disturbances caused by dieting.
This theory was further explored by a study conducted at the University of Minnesota. Thirty-six men of normal weight were put on a 1500-calorie diet; these men were interviewed prior to the start of the study and were found to be a “highly idealistic, fun-loving, healthy” group. After six months, all of the subjects suffered from psychological deterioration. They became weak and irritable, apathetic, and antisocial. None suffered any physical complaints. A few exhibited such severe disturbances that they had to drop out of the study halfway through.
A similar study was carried out at the Mayo Clinic. A group of emotionally healthy young women who did not need to lose weight agreed to live together in the clinic under a doctor’s strict supervision while being fed a restricted diet for an extended period of time. In less than 90 days the women’s personalities had begun to change, they began experiencing unprovoked feelings of anxiety, persecution and hostility. Some had nightmares and others panic attacks. The doctor overseeing the study stated that he had “created a group of neurotics.”
It is important to note here that all these studies used healthy people, people who did not need to lose weight. What if you are someone who does need to lose weight, not necessarily healthy and already suffer from a certain degree of metabolic imbalance, in the end dieting will only make your condition worse, yes, you may lose weight but at what cost and without adequate nutrition the weight is likely to come back.
These studies indeed support the connection between mental wellness and diet.