Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables in children may enhance mental health
A group of researchers at the University of East Anglia decided to study the effects of nutrition on the mental well-being of children.
The study, released in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, was conducted in collaboration with Norfolk County Council.
The research group went through the data of nearly 9,000 children from 50 schools throughout Norfolk. During their study, the young participants were evaluated through self-report tests assessing their dietary choices. Mental well-being was also assessed in separate tests.
Only 28 percent of primary-school children had purportedly consumed fruits and vegetables on a recommended daily basis, with one in 10 reported not eating any fruits or vegetables.
“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 study’s authors emphasized in their journal report.
“We found that eating well was associated with better mental wellbeing in children. And that among secondary school children in particular, there was a really strong link between eating a nutritious diet, packed with fruit and vegetables, and having better mental wellbeing.”