Lack of fruit ’n’ veg linked to behaviour
Children who don’t get enough fruit and vegetables are more than twice as likely to have behavioural problems, a Queensland study suggests.
The findings come from a survey of 500 Brisbane households in 2009, released this week by Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health. Researchers found that one in four households goes without healthy food because of low income levels. And children growing up in “food insecure” households, where fruit and vegetable consumption was lowest, had two-and-a-half times the rates of behavioural problems as food-secure houses. "It is not that these households are spending their limited money on junk food,” said researcher Rebecca Ramsey. “It is more that they are unable to afford a variety of fruit and vegetables and instead may be purchasing larger quantities of staples such as rice and bread." With food insecurity thought to affect 5% of the population, Ms Ramsey suggested unhealthy diets could be having a wide impact on children's behaviour and social skills.
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