Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected. On average, depression first appears during the late teens to mid-20s as result of a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors. The aim of this systematic review with meta-analysis is to assess the association between red and processed meat intake and depression (both incident and prevalent). This systematic review was conducted according to the methods recommended by the Cochrane Collaboration and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Relevant papers published through March 2020 were identified by searching the electronic databases MEDLINE, Embase and Scopus. All analyses were conducted using ProMeta3 software. A critical appraisal was conducted. Finally, 17 studies met the inclusion criteria. The overall effect size (ES) of depression for red and processed meat intake was 1.08 [(95% CI = 1.04; 1.12), p-value <0.001], based on 241,738 participants. The results from our meta-analysis showed a significant association between red and processed meat intake and risk of depression. The presented synthesis will be useful for health professionals and policy makers to better consider the effect of diet on mental health status.
- Processed meat
- Red meat