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Diet high in produce boosts mental health in children, teens, study finds

27 September (WNN) — A study published Monday by the BMJ Nutrition Prevention and Health Journal found that children who eat a diet rich in fruits and fruits and vegetables have better mental health.

The data showed that people who ate five or more fruits and vegetables a day achieved the highest scores for mental health.

This was especially true for teens and teens, the researchers said.

However, according to the researchers, only one in four children in this age group and 28% of elementary school age children reported eating the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Furthermore, just one in 10 children reported not eating fruits or vegetables, he said.

“We found that eating well was associated with better mental health in children,” study co-author Richard Hehoe said in a press release.

“There was a strong association between eating a nutritious diet, full of fruits and vegetables, and better mental health, especially among secondary school children,” said Hayhoe, a senior lecturer in epidemiology at the University of East Anglia. England.

The study also found that many children skip breakfast and lunch. They surveyed nearly 9,000 children from more than 50 schools in England.

More than one in five middle school children and one in 10 elementary children indicated that they did not eat breakfast, and more than one in 10 secondary school children reported that they did not eat lunch, the researchers said. .

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that children and teens 18 years of age and younger consume at least two cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables daily.

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According to the USDA, most youth in the United States fail to meet these minimum amounts in their diets, despite national efforts to promote healthy eating among school-age children.

For example, an analysis of the dietary habits of nearly 15,000 adolescents aged 14 to 18 found that less than 9% ate the recommended amount of fruit and just over 2% consumed the recommended vegetable intake.

Furthermore, more than two-thirds of the calories consumed by children and teens in the United States come from ultra-processed foods, found a study published by JAMA in August.

For this study, Hayhoe and colleagues analyzed survey responses from nearly 7,600 middle school students and more than 1,200 elementary school students.

The children reported their own dietary choices and participated in age-appropriate tests of mental health that assessed happiness, relaxation, and good interpersonal relationships.

The researchers said they took into account other factors that may have had an effect, such as adverse childhood experiences and home conditions.

“Nutrition has as much or as much impact on health as factors such as regular debates or viewing violence at home,” study co-author Ailsa Welch said in a press release.

For example, said Welch, professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of East Anglia, “children who ate a traditional breakfast experienced better well-being than those who drank only the snack or beverage.”


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