It's clear that diet and nutrition play a big role in our overall health.
Now, public health nutritionist associate professor Faruk Ahmed, from Griffith's University's School of Public Health, is taking that link further by researching how dietary behaviours are influenced by stress – in particular, the association between stress and diet among first year students at Griffith's Gold Coast campus.
"It would appear at this stage of the study that a significant proportion of the 400 students are suffering from some level of stress, and those with stress, in particular females, appear to have an unhealthy diet," said Dr Ahmed.
To further these studies, Dr Ahmed plans to investigate the overall association between dietary behaviours and mental health among the Australian population, focusing on potential links with depression.
Findings from the new Health and Wellbeing of Adults in Western Australia 2012 report also reflect interesting results.
Cases of chronic diet-related diseases such as obesity and diabetes are continuing to rise in the region despite Western Australians engaging in more exercise and smoking less.
The prevalence of diabetes has increased from 4.7 per cent of the WA population in 2002 to 6.7 per cent in 2012 for those aged 16 and over. In that same period obesity increased from 21 per cent to 28.3 per cent.
In addition, 29.2 per cent of the Western Australian population was revealed to be drinking alcohol at levels that are likely to increase their risk of long-term alcohol-related harm.
"Tackling chronic diseases has become one of the biggest challenges facing the health sector," said chief health officer, Dr Tarun Weeramanthri.
"Not only does it have a significant impact on people's lives but it also places an incredible burden on WA's health system."
Australians may want to consider private health cover in case of any health issues arising, as it means waiting lists can be avoided and treatment can happen at a time and location of your convenience, making the whole process more comfortable.