Role of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) – Prof Felice Jacka

Posted on: May 8, 2020
Last Updated: September 26, 2020

Professor Jacka is a psychiatric epidemiologist, Director of the Food and Mood Centre, and founder and president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR). She is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow at Deakin University in Australia, within the IMPACT SRC at the School of Medicine. She also holds Honorary Principal Research Fellow appointments at the Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Centre; The University of Melbourne; and the Black Dog Institute in NSW. 

Author Quotes  

Depression accounts for the largest burden of disability across the globe.

Until we can show that improving diet has an impact on people’s mood, it’s very difficult to just rely on the observational data. We really do need RCT data.

Summary and Slides 

Prof Jacka introduces the new Alliance for the Prevention of Mental Disorders and the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR). 

She explains how the work of the society will be beneficial in raising the profile of nutritional psychiatry and to encourage rigorous methodology for future studies in the field.  

With funding in place for the first randomized controlled trial of dietary modification as a treatment strategy in major depression, Prof Jacka provides details of the study design and timeline.  

This trial is important if we are to show whether the mood is related to diet other than using just observational data. The findings are of major relevance to our understanding of how diet and disease are linked. 

Take-Home Points 

  • Nutritional psychiatry could help address the large disease burden associated with mental disorders. 
  • A more rigorous methodology is needed if we are to address the efficacy of a modified diet with reduced rates of depression. 
  • Existing data support the argument that prevention is not only effective but also cost-effective.


Learn more

  1. Impact of Nutritional Deficiencies in the Pre and Post Natal Period on Child Brain Development – Prof Jacka
  2. Diet Quality and Depression in Children, Adolescents and Adults – A/Prof Felice Jacka
  3. The Impact of Diet Quality on Mental Health – Prof Felice Jacka
  4. Can Diet Patterns be Predictive of Mental Health Disorders? – Prof Felice Jacka
  5. Generational Changes in Diet and Role of Supplements – Prof Felice Jacka
  6. Diet as a Prevention Strategy in Mental Health – Prof Felice Jacka


  1. Jacka FN, O’Neil A, Opie R, et al. A randomized controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ trial). BMC Med. 2017;15(1):23. 
  2. Jacka FN. Nutritional Psychiatry: Where to Next? EBioMedicine. 2017;17:24-29.