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Depression, diet and exercise

This is a republished version of an article previously published in MJA Open

The past century has seen major global shifts in lifestyle. Dietary intakes have changed, with a marked increase in consumption of sugar, snack and take-away foods, and high-energy foods, while the consumption of nutrient-dense foods has diminished.1 Industrialisation and urbanisation have had a substantial impact on physical activity levels, and more than 30% of the global population are now categorised as insufficiently physically active.2 The World Health Organization reports that chronic, lifestyle-driven non-communicable diseases are now the largest contributor to early mortality in developed and developing countries.3 Although not classified as a non-communicable disease, depression now imposes the largest burden of illness in middle- and high-income countries.4 Concerning new data indicate that the prevalence of depression may be increasing,57 suggesting that population-level environmental factors may…