Shepparton News

Fruit, veg link to mental health

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LONDON: Eating fruit and vegetables is linked with being good for children’s mental health, new research suggests.

Children who consumed five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day had the highest scores for mental wellbeing, the British study found.

It was also linked with better wellbeing among secondary school pupils in particular.

The study was the first to investigat­e the associatio­n between how much fruit and vegetables UK schoolchil­dren eat, breakfast and lunch choices, and mental wellbeing.

Lead researcher Professor Ailsa Welch, from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School, said: ‘‘We know that poor mental wellbeing is a major issue for young people and is likely to have long-term negative consequenc­es.

‘‘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.’’

Researcher­s analysed data from almost 9000 children in 50 schools across Norfolk taken from the Norfolk children and Young People’s Health and wellbeing Survey.

Participan­ts self-reported their dietary choices and took part in mental wellbeing tests that covered cheerfulne­ss, relaxation and having good interperso­nal relationsh­ips.

The study took into account other factors that might have an impact, such as adverse childhood experience­s and home situations.

 ?? ?? Eat more fruit, vegetables: A British study found children who ate five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day had the highest scores for mental wellbeing.
Eat more fruit, vegetables: A British study found children who ate five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day had the highest scores for mental wellbeing.

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