Mental Health and Personalized Nutrition
Mental health is a significant but often overlooked public health issue worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 billion people have a mental disorder with COVID responsible for a jump in anxiety and depression by 25%. Yet, only a staggering few have access to quality healthcare. For instance, more than 75% of people in middle and low-income countries with a mental disorder don’t get any treatment for it. This is abysmal.
What’s more, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing disparities in access to mental healthcare, suspending mental health services in 93% of countries globally. Even before the pandemic, countries dedicated a mere 2% of their health budget to mental healthcare, even though research shows that investing $1 in mental health produces a return on investment of $4.
The world loses $2·5 trillion a year to poor mental health and this loss is expected to rise to $6 trillion by 2030. Personalized nutrition shows potential in easing the burden of mental disorders —primarily through preventive measures—and promoting positive mental healthcare outcomes. As a great comparison, investing $1 in nutrition can yield a return of $16, so why are governments dragging their heels?
This data brief explores:
- Key mental health trends and issues
- Relationship between mental health and personalized nutrition
- Personalized nutrition approaches that can benefit mental health problems
- Current market examples of companies innovating in this category
- Where investors are hedging their bets
- Current gaps and challenges
- Next steps for companies