Junk food – not just a weighty issue

Written by Changing Habits

June 29, 2010

Hello, no surprises here!!!  This is a no brainer  Kids who eat real food are healthy kids, mentally, physically and socially.


If you are one of those parents who always give in to their child’s tantrums when it comes to junk food, think twice – and it’s not only because of the weight gaining issues.
Data from Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, found that high consumption of fatty, sugary and highly processed foods contributed to bad behaviour and learning difficulties in children.


According to the findings, junk food stops the brain from working properly, which may lead to underachievement and a host of disorders.
Furthermore, it lacks the vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that are needed to boost brain power and improve concentration.
In Australia alone, there are 36,000 people diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a problem that scientists say could be cured simply by changing diet.
The study also found that those who had a healthier diet, including more fruit and vegetables, were likely to have higher levels of wellbeing regardless of gender or age.


A similar study was conducted in the UK at Oxford University, involving 117 British children aged five to 12. Three months into it, children were underachieving and in some cases, disruptive.
They were then given daily supplements rich in omega-3 over several months.


Omega-3 is important for brain development, but due to increasing consumption of junk food, it has become a reduced nutrient in children’s diets over the last few decades.
Around 40 per cent of children given omega-3 supplements made dramatic improvements in reading, spelling, concentration and behaviour.
In terms of reversing the damage caused by junk food, scientists found omega-3 fat capsules as being very effective.
Half the children were given omega-3 essentials fats capsules for three months, while the remainder were given capsules with olive oil.


Those on omega-3 capsules made up to 10 months progress in reading in three months, while those on olive oil made normal progress.
When the children swapped treatments, the same thing happened again.
Looking at the potential physical and psychological side effects of junk food, the kicking and screaming don’t even compare.


Source Elizabeth Mutambara on 03/06/2010

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