Nadine Paans graduated Cum Laude from the double masters Clinical Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology at the VU University in Amsterdam. She completed two combined clinical and scientific internships during her masters program. The first was at the Ouderenpoli of GGz inGeest, were she wrote the thesis “Coping skills, personality, cognition and cognitive complaints in bipolar elderly”. She also was co-author on the article “Screening for metabolic syndrome in older patients with severe mental illness” published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Her second internship was at the mental health care organization Arkin, during which she wrote the thesis “Factors associating social network and social support in patients with severe mental illness”, and coordinated the TCC:PAINDIP research of the Trimbos Institute.
In September 2014 she started working as a PhD student at the European MooDFOOD project, where she studies the link between depression, food related behavior and obesity.
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.