Malnutrition leads to antisocial Behavior
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    Default Malnutrition leads to antisocial Behavior

    Malnutrition Leads to Antisocial Behavior

    Mon Nov 22, 5:02 PM ET

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    MONDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDayNews) -- Children who are malnourished in their
    first few years of life are more likely to be aggressive and antisocial
    throughout childhood and into their late teens, says a University of
    Southern California study.

    The 14-year study tracked more than 1,000 children on Mauritius, an island
    in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. The children were ethnic
    Indian, Creole, Chinese, English and French. Researchers assessed the
    children's nutrition at age 3.

    The researchers found that malnourished children showed 41 percent greater
    aggression at age 8 than properly nourished children, 10 percent greater
    aggression and delinquency at age 11, and 51 percent greater violent and
    antisocial behavior at age 17.

    "Poor nutrition, characterized by zinc, iron, vitamin B and protein
    deficiencies, leads to low IQ, which leads to later antisocial behavior.
    These are all nutrients linked to brain development," study co-author and
    psychology professor Adrian Raine said in a prepared statement.

    The study appears in the November issue of the American Journal of Pyschiatry.

    "These are the first findings to show that malnutrition in the early
    postnatal years is associated with behavior problems through age 17," study
    author Jianghong Liu, a postdoctoral fellow with USC's Social Science
    Research Institute, said in a prepared statement.

    "Identifying the early risk factors for this behavior in childhood and
    adolescence is an important first step for developing successful prevention
    programs for adult violence," she said.

    ==================================================

    Poor diet linked to bad behaviour
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4032449.stm
    Monday, 22 November, 2004, 14:12 GMT

    Experts believe a poor diet can lead to teenagers becoming bullies
    Children who have a poor diet are more likely to become aggressive and
    anti-social, US researchers believe.

    The University of Southern California found a lack of zinc, iron, vitamin B
    and protein in the first three years caused bad behaviour later on.

    At eight years old, children fed poorly were more likely to be irritable
    and pick fights than those fed healthily.

    Aged 11, they swore, cheated and got into fights, and at 17, they stole,
    bullied others and took drugs.

    The researchers analysed the development of more than 1,000 children on
    Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, over 14
    years.

    They found the more malnurished the children were, the greater the
    anti-social behaviour later on.


    "I would not dismiss the study out-of-hand but I would be surprised if diet
    plays a big role" -Dr Ann Hagell

    The team took into account factors such as social background, health and
    education, the American Journal of Psychiatry reported.

    Report co-author Adrian Raine said parents could prevent their children
    developing bad behaviour by ensuring they get better diets.

    "Poor nutrition leads to low IQ, which leads to later anti-social behaviour.

    "At a societal level, should parents be thinking more about what kids are
    eating?

    "There's more to anti-social behaviour than nutrition, but we argue that it
    is an important missing link.

    Risk factors

    "Biology is not destiny, we can change the biological disposition to
    anti-social and aggressive behaviour."

    Fellow researcher Jianghong Liu, of the university's Social Science
    Research Institute, agreed.

    "Identifying the early risk factors for this behaviour in childhood and
    adolescence is an important first step for developing successful prevention
    programmes for adult violence."

    But Dr Ann Hagell, research development adviser at the Nuffield Foundation,
    a charitable trust which funds social and education research, raised doubts
    about the findings.

    "I would not dismiss the study out-of-hand but I would be surprised if diet
    plays a big role.

    "In my experience diet is not part of the explanation.

    "It can cause hyper activity disorders, but anti-social behaviour is more
    influenced by parenting and genetics and teen peer pressure in teenage groups."

  2. #2

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    Very interesting. Stuff like this really makes you think!!

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    I believe it!

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