As rates of anxiety and depression have increased significantly among Americans since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a shift to focus on ways to maintain mental health such as getting adequate sleep, exercising, finding ways to reduce stress, and eating a healthy diet. Is there really a connection between diet and mental health? In this presentation we will dive into the current literature on the impact of diet on mental health including the gut (microbiota)-brain connection. We will also discuss what foods and/or eating patterns may have the biggest effect on mental health.
Upon successful completion of this one-hour course, the participant should be able to:
Discuss impact of COVID 19 on mental health in the U.S.
Identify the current research findings between mental health and nutrition.
Discuss nutrition psychiatry.
Evaluate which dietary patterns promote mental health well-being.
Stacy Bevan, MS, RD is a professional practice associate professor for the Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences Department at Utah State University (USU). She is part of the dietetics faculty and teaches courses on Food Literacy and Maternal and Child Nutrition, and previously on the Science of Food Preparation. Stacy is passionate about teaching and learning anything as it relates to food and nutrition. She was awarded the Young Dietitian of the Year award by the Utah Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and as well as teaching awards by her department and by the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. She has utilized blended learning approaches in her courses and is interested in its impacts on student learning and satisfaction. She hopes to help her students develop healthy relationships with food through food literacy education and sensory experiences to enable them to positively influence their families, communities, and future clients.