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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


RAMON ARBUES, Enrique et al. Eating behavior and its relationship with stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia in university students. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2019, vol.36, n.6, pp.1339-1345.  Epub Feb 24, 2020. ISSN 1699-5198.


there is growing evidence linking food consumption with psychological health in adult people. This association has not been well explored among university students.


the aims of this study were to analyze diet quality in a university population, and to assess its association with the prevalence of anxiety, stress, depression, and insomnia.


a cross-sectional study of a sample of 1,055 university students.Three validated questionnaires were used the Healthy Eating Index (HEI), the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS 21), and the Insomnia Severity Index.


the average HEI score was 68.57 ± 12.17. The prevalence of unhealthy eating was 82.3%, higher in women (84.8% vs. 76.4%). Unhealthy eating was significantly associated with prevalence of anxiety, depression, and stress. Excessive intake of sweets and low of dairy products were associated with a higher prevalence of psychological and sleep disturbances.


unhealthy eating patterns are common among the university population, and related to anxiety, stress, and depression. Educational interventions to reduce unhealthy food consumption in university students may also result in psychological health improvements and/or vice versa.

Keywords : Diet, food and nutrition; Students; Depression; Stress psychological; Anxiety; Sleep initiation and maintenance disorders.

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