Dallas, TX, United States, 10/27/2021 / Top Wire News /
Research from the University of East Anglia suggests that children who eat a diet packed with fruits and vegetables have better mental health. A new study published on 28 September 2021 is among the first to investigate the link between fruit and vegetable intake, breakfast, and lunch choices, and the mental well-being of UK school children.
The study shows that eating more fruits and vegetables is linked with better mental well-being in children, particularly among secondary school pupils. Children who consumed five or more portions of fruits and vegetables a day had the highest scores for mental wellbeing.
The study was led by UEA Health and Social Care partners and was conducted in collaboration with Norfolk County Council. The research team suggests that public health strategies and school policies should be developed to ensure that good quality nutrition is available to children both before and during school. This will help optimize mental wellbeing and will also empower children to reach their full potential.
Prof Ailsa Welch, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, lead researcher of the study says that “We know that poor mental wellbeing is a major issue for young people and is likely to have long-term negative consequences. The pressures of social media and modern school culture have been touted as potential reasons for a rising prevalence of low mental wellbeing in children and young people. And there is a growing recognition of the importance of mental health and wellbeing in early life — not least because adolescent mental health problems often persist into adulthood, leading to poorer life outcomes and achievement.
While the links between nutrition and physical health are well understood, until now, not much has been known about whether nutrition plays a part in children’s emotional wellbeing. So, we set out to investigate the association between dietary choices and mental wellbeing among schoolchildren.”
The research team studied data from 9000 children in 50 schools across Norfolk (7,570 secondary and 1,253 primary school children) that was taken from the Norfolk children and Young People’s Health and wellbeing Survey.
This survey was commissioned by the Norfolk County Council’s Public Health Department and the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Board and was open to all Norfolk-based schools in October 2017.
Children involved in the study self-reported their dietary choices and took part in age-appropriate mental wellbeing tests that covered relaxation, cheerfulness and having good interpersonal relationships.
Prof. Welch further added “In terms of nutrition, we found that only around a quarter of secondary-school children and 28 percent of primary-school children reported eating the recommended five-a-day fruits and vegetables. And just under one in ten children were not eating any fruits or vegetables. More than one in five secondary school children and one in 10 primary children didn’t eat breakfast. And more than one in 10 secondary school children didn’t eat lunch.”
Sciencedaily.com Children who eat more fruit and veggies have better mental health
UEA.AC.UK CHILDREN WHO EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEG HAVE BETTER MENTAL HEALTH
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