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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Role of nutrition bringing positive change in child behavior

There is a direct link with right food choices and child behaviour. Normally we can notice that when a child is not properly nourished, he/she cannot perform well in physical or mental tasks at school or home. Nutrition play an important role in not only physical or mental growth of a child but in child’s behaviour as well. This post  provides facts and statistics proving that nutrition can help bring positive change regarding child behavior.


Experts have discovered that food can ramp-up children’s behavior. Now recent research and studies have proved that foods and ingredients can, indeed, make a difference. It makes perfect sense that what kids eat affects their behavior. It is well established that poor nutritional intake and deficiencies in zinc, iron, B vitamins and protein can impair brain function and lead to violence and antisocial behavior in children. Nutritional deficiencies, including zinc, magnesium, calcium and essential fatty acids, as well as carbohydrate cravings, have also been noted in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD).
Nutritional supplements may be helpful in deterring violent and anti-social behavior. When vitamin and minerals were given to elementary school children with behavioral problems, it led to a reduction in the incidence of anti-social behavior.
The researchers said that "undiagnosed and untreated malnutrition may be impairing their brain function to such an extent that normal learning from discipline does not occur."
Malnutrition in the first few years of life leads to antisocial and aggressive behavior throughout childhood and late adolescence, according to a new USC study.
“These are the first findings to show that malnutrition in the early postnatal years is associated with behavior problems through age 17,” said Jianghong Liu, a postdoctoral fellow with USC’s Social Science Research Institute and the lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry’s November issue.


How we can make healthy change in food habits?
By:

• minimizing exposure to junk food and food additives, 
• choosing nourishing, primary, low allergenic foods as dietary staples, 

• assuring nutrient adequacy by careful monitoring of the child’s food intake. 


Supplemental Diets 
It stands to reason that an adequate diet is necessary for a child’s healthy growth. Proper nutrition, including an array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids (EFAs), is particularly necessary in the first few years of life to support brain development and prevent certain neurological disorders. Even among older children, a lack of certain dietary components such as protein, or an insufficient number of calories, can negatively affect a child’s learning and behavioral abilities, and vitamin or mineral deficiencies can certainly interfere with learning over the course of a school year.
Research shows, however, that a young child must be significantly malnourished in proteins and calories before brain development is seriously affected, and this level of malnutrition is rare in the United States. To date no convincing evidence has shown that a poor diet causes ADHD, or that dietary supplements can be used to successfully treat the condition.


First published at 'factoidz'

Useful links:
 * Your Child’s Diet: A Cause and a Cure of ADHD? 

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