Eating More Vegetable and fruits Linked To Better Childhood Mental Health

Health Tips: Children who eat a better diet packed with fruit and vegetables have better mental well-being, a new study found. The study was led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) Health and Social Care Partners in collaboration with Norfolk County Council.

The findings of the study were published in the journal 'BMJ Nutrition Prevention and Health'. This study is the first to investigate the association between fruit and vegetable intakes, breakfast and lunch choices, and mental well-being in UK school children. It shows how eating more fruit and vegetables is linked with better well-being among secondary school pupils in particular. And children who consumed five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day had the highest scores for mental wellbeing.

The research team said that 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 optimise mental well-being and empower children to fulfil their full potential. The research team studied data from almost 9,000 children in 50 schools across Norfolk (7,570 secondary and 1,253 primary school children) taken from the Norfolk children and Young People's Health and well-being Survey.

 This survey was commissioned by the Public Health department of Norfolk County Council and the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Board. It was open to all Norfolk schools. Children involved in the study self-reported their dietary choices and took part in age-appropriate tests of mental well-being that covered cheerfulness, relaxation, and having good interpersonal relationships.

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