People who eat less fruit, vegetables are more prone to anxiety.

People who have a low intake of fruits and vegetables are more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, researchers say.

The study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that those who consumed less than three sources of fruits and vegetables daily, were at least 24 percent more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorder.

This may also partly explain the findings associated with body composition measures. As total body fat levels increased more than 36 percent, the likelihood of anxiety disorder increased by more than 70 percent, said co-author José Mora-Almanza, an intern at Mitacs Globalink who worked with the study at the Polytechnic University of Kwantlen in Canada.

According to the researchers, the increase in body fat may be related to increased inflammation. Emerging research suggests that some anxiety disorders may be related to inflammation.

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Our findings are consistent with previous research that has also indicated that women are more vulnerable to anxiety disorders than men, said study co-author Karen Kobayashi.

The study team analyzed data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging that included 26,991 men and women between the ages of 45 and 85. Other factors associated with anxiety disorders among middle-aged and older Canadians.

In addition to measures of diet and body composition, the prevalence of anxiety disorders also differed according to gender, marital status, income, immigrant status and various health problems.

One in nine women had an anxiety disorder compared to one in fifteen men, according to the study.

The prevalence of anxiety disorders among those who had always been single (13.9 percent) was much higher than among those who lived with a partner (7.8 percent).

Approximately one in five respondents with family incomes below $ 20,000 per year had anxiety disorders, more than double the prevalence of their richest peers.

We were not surprised to discover that people in poverty had such a high prevalence of anxiety disorders; Fighting for basics such as food and housing causes incessant stress and is inherently an inducer of anxiety, said study co-author Hongmei Tong, an assistant professor at MacEwan University in Canada.

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