Children who eat a nutritious breakfast and more fruit and vegetables have better mental health, study claims

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  • Experts describe quality of meals and snacks as ‘relatable’ for some children
  • Nutritionists at the University of East Anglia call for immediate action to improve their
  • They questioned 10,853 students in 50 Norfolk schools about their diet and mental health

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One study shows that children who eat nutritious breakfasts and more fruits and vegetables have better mental health.

Researchers warn that poor diet is potentially as harmful to students’ well-being as exposure to violence and rowing in the home.

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He described the quality of food and snacks of some children as ‘concerning’ and called for immediate action to improve them.

They say that failure to take action can also affect children’s growth, development and learning, hindering their ability to concentrate in the classroom.

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Researchers warn that poor diet is potentially as harmful to students’ well-being as exposure to violence and rowing in the home

Nutritionists from the University of East Anglia questioned 10,853 students in 50 Norfolk schools about their diet and mental health.

Only 25 percent of middle school students and 28.5 percent of elementary school students reported eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Some 10 percent and 9 percent ate nothing, respectively.

In addition, 22.3 percent of secondary school and 10.2 percent of primary students had only one drink for breakfast or nothing at all.

The average mental health score was 46.6 out of 70 for middle school students and 46 out of 60 for primary school students.

Secondary school students who ate five or more fruits or vegetables a day had an average of 3.73 units more than those who ate none.

And those who only had breakfast or a breakfast bar for breakfast scored 1.15 units lower than those who preferred toast, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, fruit, or a fry-up.

Secondary school students who had nothing for breakfast scored 2.73 less than those who drank traditional meals, and 3.14 points lower than those who drank only energy drinks.

In primary school children, eating only breakfast for breakfast resulted in a 5.50 unit lower score, according to findings published in the BMJ Nutrition Prevention and Health journal.

Lead researcher Professor Ailsa Welch said: ‘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, impairing life outcomes and achievement.

‘Public health strategies and school policies should be developed to ensure that good quality nutrition is available to all children before and during school to optimize mental health and help children reach their full potential’. be empowered to fulfill it.

What should a balanced diet look like?

According to the NHS, meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains.

According to the NHS, meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains.

• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count

• Foods based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains

• 30 grams of fiber a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruits and vegetables, 2 biscuits of whole wheat cereal, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and a large baked potato with the skin

• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks), choose low-fat and low-sugar options

• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (2 portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume them in moderation

• Drink 6-8 cups/glass of water in a day

• Adults should have less than 6 grams of salt and 20 grams of saturated fat per day for women or 30 grams for men

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide

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