Introduction: Throughout life, proper nutrition is important to the brain as it affects cognition and intellectual development. Studies have shown that a lack of certain nutrients can affect the body’s ability to perform mentally and physically. Annually, 14% of children in the United States receive mental health illness diagnoses. However, the link between nutrition and mental health is not clear. The purpose of this systematic literature review on mental health and nutrition in adolescence is to identify any gaps that require future research efforts. Methods: The Elton Bryson Stephens Company ( EBSCO), ProQuest, and Journal Storage (JSTOR) databases were used to search the following terms: nutrition, diet, and mental health. All search results that were published in English between 2014 -2019, conducted in the United States, peer-reviewed, and contained subjects 13 to 18-years old were included. Results: A total of 217 articles were identified. After the removal of duplicates and eligibility screening, only two satisfied the criteria. The reports were published in two separate journals during 2018 (n=1) and 2014 (n=1). These quantitative studies used a cross-sectional design with a survey. Common findings across the two studies are (1) nutrition knowledge and frequent family meals are positively associated with the individual social and emotional wellbeing; and (2) poor nutrition can lead to increased bullying among adolescents. Conclusion: The findings from this study suggest that nutrition and mental health in adolescents is not well research. Future research studies are needed to address mental health and nutrition among adolescents.
Walker, A., McDonald, A., & Branch-Vital, A. (2020). Exploring the Association Between Nutrition and Mental Health in Adolescence: A Systematic Literature Review. Pursue: Undergraduate Research Journal, 3(1). Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.pvamu.edu/pursue/vol3/iss1/3