PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The high mortality and prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) is maintained by poor diet. This narrative review summarizes recent literature to provide a reflection of current eating habits, dietary preferences, and nutritional status of SSD patients. Elucidating these factors provides new insights for potential lifestyle treatment strategies for SSD.
RECENT FINDINGS: Only 10.7% of the SSD patients had a healthy dietary pattern, against 23% of the general population. The dietic component of the Keeping the Body in Mind Xtend lifestyle program increased diet quality with 10% for young people with first-episode psychosis, compared to baseline, which was predominantly driven by increased vegetable variety and amounts.
SUMMARY: Recent findings render poor dietary habits as potential targets for treatment of SSD patients. Further studies into anti-inflammatory diets and associations with gut-brain biomarkers are warranted. When proven, structured and supervised diet interventions may help SSD patients escape from this entrapment, as only supplementing nutrients or providing dietary advice lacks the impact to significantly reduce the risk of chronic physical illnesses.