Statistical Analysis of Reported Health Habits and Mental Health from the Bridge to Health Survey 2015: Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin

Torri Simon


The objective of this study was to further research relating poor mental health cases with inadequate nutrition or physical activity. Research aims to support the use of health habits like diet and exercise as treatment or prevention for frequent mental distress. The analysis uses data from the Bridge to Health Survey, 2015 conducted in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin and supports survey goals of gathering local health information. Initial data preparation grouped participants into a mental distress group and a good health group based on their reported days of poor mental health. Then, logistic regression models evaluated correlation between mental health status and health habits. Emphasis was placed on diet and exercise habits, but covariates such as employment status, gender, and income were also included. Results suggest those who consume more servings of fruit per day or participate in some form of physical activity each month are less likely to have mental distress. There is also evidence that consuming home cooked meals and restaurant meals decreases risk with the alternative being fast food meals. Employment status and gender were also strongly related to mental distress rates where those who are unemployed because of a disability or those who are female have higher risk.


Mental Health; Mental Distress; Diet; Exercise; Logistic Regression

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