link between bad diet and mental ill heath, report urges
by Mike George
link between a bad diet and mental ill heath should become more
of a priority for researchers, a report
poor diet is increasingly being linked with depression, schizophrenia,
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other mental health
problems, said the report co-written by the Mental Health Foundation
and Sustain, an organisation promoting good quality farming.
Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the foundation, said policy
makers would be “foolish” to underestimate the importance
of how a nutritionally-deficient diet is being linked to mental
The report states,
for example, that saturated fats - the consumption of which has
been increasing with the boom in ready meals - acts to slow down
the brain's working process.
People are also eating 34% less vegetables and two-thirds less fish
- the main source of important omega-3 fatty acids - than they were
50 years ago.
The report, entitled Feeding Minds, was based on a a review of both
peer-reviewed journals and non-reviewed literature, the internet,
UK-wide eating habits opinion poll survey of 2122 adults was also
report lists nutrients considered good for the brain.
Dr McCulloch said: “We know that dietary interventions may
hold the key to a number of the mental health challenges our society
we rarely invest in developing this knowledge, and a relatively
tiny – but growing - number of professionals are putting it
to effective use."
Rebecca Foster, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation,
told bbc.co.uk: "The evidence associating mental health and
nutrient intake is in its infancy, this is a very difficult association
to research and in many cases results are subjective.
it is difficult to draw conclusions about the association between
mental illness and dietary intake at this point.
the nutrient recommendations outlined in this report are in line
with recommendations for good health, which should continue to be
advocated by all health professionals."
Minds report (pdf)
diet luxuries to chronically ill
Jean Johnston, ex carer, writer and mental health adviser, Helensburgh,
January 17, 2006
The report suggesting the link between bad diet and mental ill health
makes sense just as our physical health is also dependent on our
would seem, therefore, that a good diet should be a necessity for
those who have become ill.
those already affected by chronic mental ill health and consquently
stuck in the benefits trap find that living on perhaps just £10
per day leaves little room for the required 5 fruit and veg never
mind such luxuries as the chicken and fish. An issue that might
now require addressing.
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