Hunger as a driver of depressive symptoms : optimising responses to mental health aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Hunt, Xanthe ; Stein, Dan J. ; Spaull, Nic ; Tomlinson, Mark (2021-07)

CITATION: Hunt, X. et al. 2021. Hunger as a driver of depressive symptoms : optimising responses to mental health aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. South African Medical Journal, 111(7):604-605, doi:10.7196/SAMJ.2021.v111i7.15754.

The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za

Article

The COVID-19 pandemic has had major implications for mental health, and much has been written about clinical interventions and health policy to address this. In South Africa (SA) and other low- and middle-income countries, this mental health burden may have unique aspects. In the international literature, symptoms of depression may be driven by experiences of food insecurity and hunger. In the context of the pandemic, in which food insecurity and hunger are on the rise, hunger as a driver of poor mental health in the pandemic warrants further discussion.

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