Children's Health

Article by Angela Haldane

The effect of various nutrients on childhood disease and health has been assessed by numerous trials. The British Associate Parliamentary Food and Health Forum (FHF) have put forward a report to the British Government in January 2008 outlining well researched links between behaviour and diet. Below is a summary:

– Dyes such as tartrazine (an artificial food colouring) increase zinc excretion.
– Cognitive performance in children is enhanced by a low GI (glycaemic index) breakfast.
– Children’s behaviour and iron deficiency have a strong link.
– ADHD may be linked with low levels of zinc in children.
– Babies with higher levels of DHA (obtained from oily fish, ground linseeds etc) can significantly improve mental processing.
– Many children consume less than the required level of zinc.
– Improving dietary practice can reduce depression in adolescents.
– Vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals have been shown to reduce aggressive and antisocial behaviour in young adults.