Do you wish a happy life for your children? Start from what they eat.


Children who eat more vegetables and fruits also show better mental health [1] according to a study by researchers at the University of East Anglia and published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health. [2]



The researchers carried out their own analyzes of pupils from different secondary schools and found that those children who usually ate five or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day showed higher scores for mental well-being. The latter is considered, by the researcher in charge of the study, Ailsa Welch of the Norwich Medical School of the aforementioned university, as a very important problem for young people, one that can have very negative consequences in the long term. [1]

The researchers worked with data from around 9,000 children.


The data was collected in 50 schools in Norfolk, UK. The dietary habits of the children were self-reported in the course of questionnaires by the same subjects while the levels of mental well-being were assessed through specific tests. These are tests that can evaluate moods such as happiness, the level of relaxation and the level of interpersonal relationships. [1]

As Welch herself explains, the results showed that a quarter of secondary school children and 28% of primary school children reported eating servings of vegetables and fruit five times a day at least. One in 10 children reported that they did not eat fruit and vegetables every day. In addition, the same researchers noted that more than one in five secondary school children and one in 10 primary school children reported not having breakfast while more than one in 10 secondary school children reported not having lunch. [1]


Finally, they found that those secondary school children who used to drink energy drinks during processing showed lower mental well-being scores, even lower than the scores of children who reported not having breakfast at all.

The researchers, who also considered any disturbing factors such as adverse experiences during childhood and the home situation, found that eating well, in general, could be linked to better mental well-being in children and that this link seemed particularly present among children. secondary school children. [1]



References

  1. Children who eat more fruit and vegetables have better mental health ( IA )

  2. Cross-sectional associations of schoolchildren's fruit and vegetable consumption, and meal choices, with their mental well-being: a cross-sectional study | BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health ( IA ) (DOI: 10.1136 / bmjnph-2020-000205)