Introducing – Food for Mind study

Introducing – Food for Mind study

The aim of the University of Eastern Finland’s Food for Mind study is to find out whether a motivational and strength-based nutrition-focused group intervention can improve the quality of the participants’ diet, mitigate the symptoms of depression and improve their working and functional ability and quality of life. The research is funded by Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation. The previous funding was provided by KELA Research Fund and the Finnish Cultural Foundation’s Central Fund. The duration of the study is 2017-2025.

“Previous studies have shown that there is a relation between poor diet quality and depression, but there are only a few intervention studies on the effect of nutrition on depression”, says Aino Niemi, a doctoral researcher from the Finnish Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland. “The Food for Mind study explores the effectiveness of a motivational and strength-based nutrition-focused group intervention to symptoms of depression, diet quality and eating behavior, quality of life, and working and functional ability”, adds leading researcher Outi Nuutinen from the University of Eastern Finland. “The study also examines the cost-effectiveness and acceptability of the nutrition intervention.”

“In 2023, we focus on recruiting subjects. You can apply for the study from Kuopio and Siilinjärvi through your healthcare unit”, says Niemi. The study subjects are of working age with a diagnosis of moderate or severe depression and a treatment and rehabilitation plan. The study subjects will be recruited from three public and eight private healthcare providers. The intervention or “Food for Mind group” will participate in nutrition counseling. In the control group, “Bring Good Mood group”, participants will improve their well-being with peer support by using the provided tools. The control group will be implemented in cooperation with Turvalinkki ry.

Food for Mind researchers are involved in the activities of the Kuopio Brain & Mind regional network of the Neurocenter Finland.


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Kuopio Brain & Mind is Neurocenter Finland’s regional network in Eastern Finland. For more information, please visit