The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between psychological distress and dietary consumption patterns in the former Soviet Union. Data are cross-sectional and were collected in 2001 from a large representative sample (n = 18,428) of respondents age 18 years and over in eight former Soviet republics. Sociodemographic covariates and psychological distress predictors were analyzed using ordinal logistic regression models to estimate multivariate correlations with the frequency of meat, fish, vegetable, fruit, and animal fat consumption among men and women in these eight regions. Results show that psychological distress exhibits statistically significant, negative associations with all dietary consumption indicators for both men and women. Social class predictors display consistent positive correlations with food consumption outcomes, emphasizing the potential importance of this concept in the dynamic relationship between diet and psychological distress. Higher reported levels of psychological distress are associated with the less frequent consumption of all types of food products in this analysis. Several possible interpretations are discussed, and we explore the probable multidimensional theoretical mechanisms that can help explain the complex relationships among distress, food insecurity, and dietary patterns in these eight republics of the former USSR. The general and practical significance of these findings is also discussed, along with suggested directions for future research and potential dietary intervention strategies. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.