Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences

Degree Level



Human Nutrition and Hospitality Innovation


Trudo, Sabrina

Committee Member/Reader

Becnel, Jennifer

Committee Member/Second Reader

Bailey, Mechelle


While the majority of the American population is aware that fruits and vegetables can improve physical health, research also suggests that mental health may benefits as well. With depression and anxiety rates increasing and fruit and vegetable consumption decreasing across the country there is potential that the two are related. It has been found that majority of American adults do not meet fruit and vegetable recommendations, while 16 million adults face depression and anxiety. Young adults reported the lowest amount of fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as some of the highest rates of depression and anxiety. The purpose of the current study was to find if there is a relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and mental health in young adults. The study gathered data on 113 American young adults, ages 18-25, and their recorded food intake and mental health using validated questionnaires and nutrition tools. The findings show a positive relationship between fruit intake and self-esteem, a negative correlation between fruit intake and cognitive dysregulation and lastly, a positive correlation between total fruit and vegetable intake and self-esteem. These findings support existing literature in that there is a correlation between fruit and vegetable consumption and mental health in young adults.


mental health, fruit, vegetable, self-esteem, mood