Personal information

Deborah  Gibson-Smith

Deborah studied Voeding en Dietetiek (BSc) at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and the research mastersLifestyle and Chronic Disorders (Msc) at Vu university in Amsterdam. She completed two internships during her masters program. The first was at the Pharmacoepidemiology department of Utrecht University where she wrote two articles ("The risk of major (non-hip) fracture after hip fracture in the UK: 2000-2010" and "Trends in the start of osteoporosis treatment after hip fracture UK: 2000-2010") the first of which recieved a young investigator award. Her second internship was at the mental health institution, GGZ in Geest, where she did research into major depressive disorder and two year weight change patterns.

She is currently doing a PhD into the link between nutrition and psychological health as part of the European MooDFOOD project.

MooDFOOD is a Multi-country cOllaborative project on the rOle of Diet, Food-related behaviour, and Obesity in the prevention of Depression. Depression is one of the most prevalent, severe and disabling disorders in the EU and places a heavy burden on individuals and families. A large proportion of the EU population is overweight which increases depression risk. Improving food-related behaviour and nutrient status offer opportunities to prevent depression, specifically for people prone to being overweight. The MooDFOOD consortium combines expertise in nutrition, consumer behaviour, psychiatry and preventive psychology and uses a unique integrative approach. Existing high quality data of longitudinal prospective European cohort studies will be combined with new data from surveys, short-term experiments and a long-term preventive intervention study. This approach will provide insight in the causality of the link between diet and depression and underlying pathways, and will identify which modifications related to depression lead to beneficial dietary changes and lower the environmental burden of the diet. Knowledge on all these aspects will be integrated and used to develop novel nutritional strategies to prevent depression. The MooDFOOD consortium aims 1) to gain a better understanding of the psychological, lifestyle and environmental pathways underlying the multi-faceted, bidirectional links of food intake, nutrient status, food-related behaviour and obesity with depression and 2) to develop and disseminate innovative evidence-based, feasible, effective and sustainable nutritional strategies for the prevention of clinical depression. In close collaboration with stakeholders and experts MooDFOOD will transform these nutritional strategies into guidelines and practical tools to guide policy at EU- and Member State levels. Promotion through extensive European networks will lower the risk of depression and contribute to overall health of all EU citizens.