Children Nutrition Food and Behavior

Is there a relationship between children nutrition food and
behavior? Let's examine the research indicating the
relationship between children nutrition food and behavior.


  1. Malnutrition at age 3 results in more hyperactivity and
    aggressive behavior in 8 year olds, increased externalizing
    problems in 11 year olds and greater motor activity and
    conduct disorders in 17 year olds. Lower IQ was associated
    with the negative behavior. “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.” - Am J
    Psychiatry 161:2005-2013, November 2004

  2. In a parolee study, Barbara Reed experienced an 85%
    success rate, when average success rates by probation
    officers were 15%- Food & Behavior, a Natural Connection

    Barbara Reed's success indicates, not only that nutrition
    food and behavior influence each other, but that the
    relation between nutrition food and behavior can be
    extremely significant.

  3. Dr. S. Schoenthaler, in a study involving 803 New York
    schools, found that removing food additives and improving
    children nutrition resulted in huge increases in test
    scores, resulting in a 16% rise in academic ranking and
    a decrease in learning disabled children from 12% to 5%.

  4. Improving children nutrition by banning food additives
    and replacing junk food snacks by fruit led to an increase
    in passing English scores from 23% to 64% at Wolney Junior
    school in New Addington, South London, UK- School leaps up
    the leagues table by Susie Steiner, The London Times

  5. Before a Wisconsin high school replaced their cafeteria
    processed foods with nutritious fresh whole foods the
    students were out of control. Now there are no drop outs,
    weapons violations, expulsions and suicides. The new
    behavior has lasted for seven years. Another strong
    correlation between nutrition food and behavior is found
    here. For more information link here:

    http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/03/335318.shtml
    and video link here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?
    docid=3656274562048336840&q=healthy+foods

  6. Reading the above article, did you notice mice on a
    processed food diet start eating each other? What does
    that tell us about the importance of children nutrition
    food and behavior?

  7. A study, which has significance for children nutrition
    food and behavior is one in which unborn rats
    were deprived of zinc. This led to increased aggression,
    impaired learning and decreased brain size.- Nature 257,
    221 - 222 (18 September 1975);doi:10.1038/257221a0

  8. The UK prison trial at Aylesbury jail showed that when
    young men were fed multivitamins, minerals and
    essential fatty acids, the number of violent offences
    they committed in the prison fell by 37%.... As omega-6
    goes up, so do homicides in a linear progression.
    Industrial societies where omega-3 consumption has
    remained high and omega-6 low because people eat fish, such
    as Japan, have low rates of murder and depression.
    Americans have cell membranes higher in the less flexible
    omega-6 fatty acids, which appear to have displaced the
    elastic omega-3 fatty acids found in Japanese nerve cells.

  9. Evidencing the influence of children nutrition on
    aggressive behavior is the following information, (which is
    a direct bibliographical quote from http://www.hriptc.org/bib_avb.htm):


  • Werbach, Melvyn: Nutritional influences on aggressive
    behavior. J Ortho Med 1995; v.7, no. 1. Evidence is
    emerging that iron deficiency among adolescent males has
    been shown to be directly associated with aggressive
    behavior.

  • Schoenthaler, SJ, Bier ID:The effect of vitamin-mineral
    supplementation on juvenile delinquency among American
    school children:a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled
    trial. J Altern Complement Med 2000; 6(1):7-17. Numerous
    studies conducted in juvenile correctional institutions have
    reported that violence and serious antisocial behavior have
    been dramatically reduced after implementing nutrient dense
    diets.

  • Walsh,W:Zinc deficiency, metal metabolism, and behavioral
    disorders. Report of the Health Research Institute 1995.
    This study focuses on persons born with a metal-metabolism
    disorder often resulting in episodic violence, hyperactivity
    and conduct disorder.

  • Sever Y, Ashkenazi A, Tyano S, Weizman, A: Iron
    treatment in children with attention deficit hyperactivity
    disorder. A preliminary report. Neuropsych 1997; 35(4):178-80.
    A study of 14 boys aged 7-11 years using iron for
    therapeutic treatment of hyperactivity. The report
    recommends further study based on the finding that
    increased blood iron resulted in the reduction of aggressive
    behaviors.

  • Department of Family Medicine, Pomeranian Medical
    Academy, Poland: The effects of magnesium physiological
    supplementation on hyperactivity in children with ADHD.
    Mag Res 1997; 10(2):149-56. The report from this institute
    states that dietetic factors can play a significant role
    in the origin of ADHD and that magnesium deficiency can
    result in disruptive behaviors.

  • Schoenthaler S: Vitamins Against Crime: supplementation
    and antisocial behavior in institutions. Medical Nutrition
    1990; 34-37. Brain function requires adequate nutrition,
    and correction of chronic undernutrition can improve
    antisocial behavior. Researchers have found that vitamin
    and mineral tests can be a good indicator of violent
    behavior.

  • Sanstead H: A brief history of the influence of trace
    elements on brain function. J Clin Nutrit 1986; 43:293-98.
    Historically iron, copper, manganese and zinc deficiency
    have been associated with mental impairment. Manifestations
    of such deficiencies include confusion, violence, dullness
    and death.

  • Schoenthaler S: Applied nutrition and behavior. J
    Applied Nutr 1991;43(1):31-39. This research showed that
    nutrient dense diets in 813 state facilities resulted in
    significantly improved conduct. The distribution of vitamin
    and mineral supplements was a significant factor in
    promoting less violent behavior.

  • Schrauzer G, Vroey E: Effects of nutritional lithium
    supplementation on mood. Biological Trace Element Res 1994;
    40:89-101. The results of an intensive study of former drug
    users, violent offenders or those with a history of
    domestic violence assert that lithium supplementation has a
    mood improving and stabilizing effect. Authors suggest that
    a nutritional lithium supplement may be a valuable drug in
    violence and suicide prevention programs.

  • Lonsdale D, et al: J of Advancement of Medicine 1994; 7
    (3):171-180. A review of the potential for high calorie
    malnutrition as a link for senseless violence and crime. The
    author asserts that if it is true that body chemistry plays
    a role in abnormal behavior, that it is largely a waste of
    time to treat violent criminals by incarcerating them and
    ignoring the critical factor of their diet.

  • Walsh W, et al.:Elevated blood copper/zinc ratios in
    assaultive young males. Physiology and Behavior 1997;
    62(2)327-329. Stresses the importance of the study of
    different metal ratios and their association with behavior
    in an effort to identify those with increased risk.
    Improvement in biochemistry in these individuals is seen
    as very beneficial.

  • Carney MWP:Vitamin deficiency and mental symptoms.
    British Journal of Psychiatry 1990;156:878-882. Study
    reveals that 53% of unselected patients admitted to
    psychiatric hospital unit were vitamin deficient. Vitamin
    B deficiency has been associated with neuropsychiatric
    disorders and depression. Additionally, folic acid
    deficiency has been linked to affective illnesses.
    Vitamins for depression might prove helpful.

  • Gottschalk L, et al.:Abnormalities in hair trace
    elements as indicators of aberrant behavior. Comprehensive
    psychiatry 1991; 32(3):229-237. The authors suggest that
    abnormal trace mineral metabolism may be involved in
    aggressive behavior and that careful mineral analysis could
    be effective in identifying those who are predisposed to
    such behavior.

  • Rosen GM, et al.:Iron deficiency among incarcerated
    juvenile delinquents. J Adolesc Health Care 1985;6:419-423.
    This study from 1985 can be viewed as one of the early
    looks at the effects of iron deficiency and abnormal
    behavior. Through research performed in juvenile detention
    facilities, a high prevalence of iron deficiency was found
    among both male and female inmates. The study suggests
    further research into the problem of behavior issues and
    iron deficiency.

  • Lead Exposure and Child Behavior. American Journal of
    Public Health 1992; 82(10):1356-1359. This study evaluated
    blood lead levels of young children. The group with the
    highest levels of lead present in blood samples was found
    to score the highest in Total Problem Behavior Score
    checklists.

  • Stevens L., et al:Phospholipids influence behavior. The
    Nutrition Report 1996;38:(May-June). A study performed on
    equal number of young boys, half with low fatty acid
    measures, showed that behavior problems were significantly
    higher in the study group with the lower acid levels.
    Greater number of health and learning problems occurred in
    the lower level group as well.

  • Magnesium reduces hyperactivity. Autism Research Review
    1998;12(2):4. Children in this study were ages 7 to 12.
    After a 6-month period, the control group, which received
    no magnesium supplementation, was found to have behavior
    that worsened, whereas the other children receiving
    magnesium supplementation therapy had statistically
    improved results in behavioral assessment scales.

  • Walsh W, et al.:Elevated blood copper/zinc ratios in
    assaultive young males. Physiol Behav 1997;49(1):327-329.
    Research spanning a period of 20 years has revealed abnormal
    trace metal concentrations in violence prone young males
    3-20 years of age. This study tested the validity of the
    observation that young assaultive males have elevated blood
    copper/zinc levels when compared to those with no history
    of assaultive behavior.

  • Schmidt K, et al.:Clinical ecology treatment approach
    for juvenile offenders. J Behav Ecology:Biosocial
    1981:2(1). It was found through this study that hair copper
    levels of young males classified as delinquent, was found
    to be at a higher level than lab norms.

  • Lonsdale D, Schamberger R. Red cell transketolase as an
    indicator of nutritional deficiency. Am J Clin Nutr 1980;33
    (2):205-211. In a study of patients with biochemical
    evidence of thiamine deficiency related to junk food diets,
    the adolescents especially were found to be impulsive,
    irritable, aggressive and angered easily.

  • Schrauzer GN, Shrestha KP: Lithium in drinking water
    and the incidences of crimes, suicides and arrests related
    to drug addictions. Biol Trace E.em Res 1990;25(2):105-113.
    Data collected from 27 counties in Texas, when adjusted
    for population density, show that the incidence of
    homicide, suicide and rape were significantly high in
    areas where the drinking water contained little or no
    lithium. Results of this study suggest that low level doses
    of lithium have a beneficial effect on human behavior.



The correlation between food additive consumption and ADHD
appears to be very high. Benjamin Feingold, M.D, found
that about 40-50% of hyperactive children are sensitive to
artificial food colors, flavors and preservatives. This
includes naturally-occurring salicylates and phenolic
compounds in foods.
Altering children’s nutrition to
eliminate food additives appears warranted.

Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD, believes major economic interests
have hired their own researchers to refute Feingold's
research. Politicians cite conflicting results as reasons
for inaction. American agribusiness and food suppliers are
economically enmeshed in these profitable food additives and
tend to used their economic muscle to discourage any
changes. Thus the association between children nutrition food
and behavior is ignored due to the profit motive.

Dr. Feingold's powerful research, found behavior disorders
were linked to food additive consumption, was based on
1,200 individuals and was presented to the AMA in 1973.
Later research in Australia and Canada supported Feingold's
thesis."- Dr. Whitaker's Guide to Natural Healing, Prima
Publishing, 1996

In the interests of children nutrition food and behavior,
The Hyperactive Children's Support Group of the United
Kingdom believes these food additives should be avoided:

Amaranth, Benzoic Acid, BHA, BHT, Brilliant Blue FCF,
Caramel, Carmine, Carmoiic Acid, Cochineal, FCFV, Indigo,
Potassium Nitrate, Quinoline Yellow, Red 2G,
Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Nitrate, Sulfur Dioxide, Sunset
Yellow, Tartrazine

Avoid foods with high salicylates content to see if their
removal causes a behavioral difference. Some of these are
the following:

Almonds, Honey, Peppermint Tea, Peanuts, Peppers, Plums
(canned), Prunes (canned), Raspberries (fresh),
Strawberries (fresh), Tomatoes - and spices, but especially
Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Curry, Oregano, Paprika,
Pepper, Rosemary, Sage and Turmeric

Some of the conclusions from the above research relating
to children nutrition food and behavior are:


  1. Vitamins, supplements and healthy meals significantly
    decrease aggressive and, particularly, violent behavior
    making schools and prisons safer. Such research is important
    since all three variables of children nutrition food and behavior
    were studied.

  2. Reversing a long standing position, the Journal of
    the American Medical Association advised medical doctors
    to recommend that all their patients take a muliplevitamin
    pill daily. This is one of the rare times the American
    Medical Association admitted the relationship between
    children nutrition food and behavior.

  3. Despite the undeniable connection between food additives
    and aggression, authorities continue to avoid pursuing children
    nutrition food and behavior interventions. For more information,
    regarding food additives and children nutrition food and behavior,
    click here.

  4. Despite studies indicating fluoride causes neurological
    problems, many authorities ignore this danger when it comes
    to children nutrition food and behavior.

  5. Toxic metals continue to be overlooked in developing
    children nutrition interventions to decrease aggressive
    behavior. Toxic metal's negative influence on nutrition
    food and behavior takes second place the profit motive.
    Our children pay the price.

  6. A mindset that children's problems are caused either by
    bad parenting or an abnormal brain prevents interventions in
    children nutrition food and behavior that could prevent
    negative child responses.

  7. The huge profits, involved in prescribing drugs to treat
    behavioral problems, reinforces this mindset against
    children nutrition food and behavior interventions.

  8. Improving children nutrition in schools has led to
    huge increases in test scores further underscoring the
    relationship between children nutrition food and behavior.

  9. Since supplements improve behavior and test scores, one
    must wonder what result would be achieved, regarding
    children nutrition food and behavior, if both the addition
    of supplements and the eating of salubrious foods were
    consistently followed?