BMC research notes. 2022;15(1):122
Plain language summary
In patients with severe mental disorders, motivation to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle might be low. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may improve metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular health and mental health. This randomised community-based clinical trial included seventy-four patients with severe mental disorders out of which 37.8% of the participants had schizophrenia or related disorders, 29.7% had bipolar disorder, 25.7% had depressive disorder, 4.1% had a personality disorder, and 2.7% had obsessive-compulsive disorder. The intervention group followed a four-week food education programme (DIETMENT) aimed at promoting fruit and vegetable consumption. A five-month post-intervention analysis showed no increase in participants diagnosed with metabolic syndrome in the intervention group, but an increase in participants diagnosed with metabolic syndrome in the control group. There was a significant reduction in the glomerular filtrate rate in the intervention group. In patients with severe mental disorders, more studies should be conducted to examine the health-promoting effects of adding more fruits and vegetables to the diet. Health professionals can use the results of this study to understand how fruits and vegetables contribute to reducing metabolic syndrome and heart disease risk.