MooDFOOD: €9 million for nutrition depression link

Date published: February 20th, 2014

MooDFOOD: €9 million for nutrition depression link

On January 1, 2014, the €9 million EU project 'MooDFOOD led by prof. dr. Marjolein Visser and dr. Ingeborg Brouwer of the VU Department of Health Sciences started. MooDFOOD is a Multi-country cOllaborative project on the rOle of Diet, Food-related behaviour, and Obesity in the prevention of Depression.

At the time of the EU call announcement in 2013, Visser and Brouwer (both EMGO+ researchers) realized that the VU Department of Health Sciences (Marjolein Visser, Ingeborg Brouwer) and the VU Department of Clinical Psychology (prof. dr. Pim Cuijpers, also EMGO+) along with the VUmc Department of Psychiatry (prof.dr. Brenda Penninx, EMGO+) possess a unique combination of expertise. With 13 partners in 9 European countries, a consortium was formed and they successfully applied for this 9 million Euro research project. More than €3 million of the total budget is for research that will be carried out by VU and VUmc. Researchers from various VU and VUmc departments will be involved in this unique project.

Depression is one of the most prevalent and disabling disorders in the EU and places a heavy burden on individuals and their families. A large proportion of the EU population is overweight which increases depression risk. Improvement of food-related behavior and nutrient status may prevent depression, specifically for people prone to being overweight.

Unique combination of expertise

Researchers  from the MooDFOOD consortium will combine expertise in nutrition, consumer behaviour, psychiatry and preventive psychology and will use a unique integrative approach. Existing high quality data from longitudinal prospective European cohort studies will be combined with new data from surveys, short-term experiments and a long-term preventive intervention study.

The MooDFOOD consortium aims 1) to gain a better understanding of the psychological, lifestyle and environmental pathways underlying the multi-faceted, bidirectional links of food intake, nutrient status, food-related behaviour and obesity with depression and 2) to develop and disseminate innovative evidence-based, feasible, effective and sustainable nutritional strategies for the prevention of clinical depression. In close collaboration with stakeholders and experts MooDFOOD will transform these nutritional strategies into guidelines and practical tools to guide policy at EU- and Member State levels. Promotion of these guidelines and tools through an extensive European network will lower the risk of depression and contribute to the overall health of EU citizens.



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