We found a positive association between the prevalence of depressive episodes and a meatless diet. Meat non-consumers experienced approximately twice the frequency of depressive episodes of meat consumers, PRs ranging from 2.05 (95%CI 1.00–4.18) in the crude model to 2.37 (95%CI 1.24–4.51) in the fully adjusted model.
The cross-sectional design precluded the investigation of causal relationships.
Depressive episodes are more prevalent in individuals who do not eat meat, independently of socioeconomic and lifestyle factors. Nutrient deficiencies do not explain this association. The nature of the association remains unclear, and longitudinal data are needed to clarify causal relationship.