The SMILEs Trial

The Food & Mood Centre have conducted a study called SMILEs (Supporting the Modification of lifestyle in Lowered Emotional States). Their report begins:

“Many aspects of lifestyle, such as keeping active, being a non-smoker and maintaining a balanced diet are important factors in keeping physically and mentally healthy. There have been many studies that have demonstrated that a good quality diet is important to the risk of or prevention of mental disorders. However, the idea of diet as a part of the treatment of mental disorders has not yet been studied. The SMILES (Supporting the Modification of lifestyle in Lowered Emotional States) trial is the first of it’s kind to investigate the questions ‘if I improve my diet, will my mood improve?’ The study commenced in 2012 and recruitment was completed in 2015. The results of this study are now published and can be read HERE. The development of the dietary intervention and feasibility data can be read HERE.”

Concerning the study outcomes, they say:


The results of the study, published in the international journal BMC Medicine, showed that participants in the dietary intervention group had a much greater reduction in their depressive symptoms over the three-month period, compared to those in the social support group.

At the end of the trial, a third of those in the dietary support group met criteria for remission of major depression, compared to 8 percent of those in the social support group.

These results were not explained by changes in physical activity or body weight, but were closely related to the extent of dietary change. In other words, those who improved their diet the most experienced the greatest benefit to their depression.”

You can find out more about the trial from here.

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