In all the talk about the causes of rampaging teenagers I have only heard one brief little sneaked-in mention of the role of diet and behaviour. Is it only poor old much maligned Jamie Oliver who can be brave enough to confront the government with the argument that if you feed growing brains rubbish, there may be behavioural implications? It’s not rocket science! Recent reports of very little babies being fed pureed burger and chips must demonstrate the need for simple compulsory cooking classes at schools for both boys and girls.
Although when I was at school (in the dark ages of the 70s) we learned to make Scotch eggs and doughnuts – how incredibly useless and pointless is that? And why is it that school kids are allowed to head off to the chicken and chip shop for their lunch even if they have a healthy school lunch? (Now I know I am sounding like an old battle-axe!). But brains need nourishing and teenage boys, with the flood of testosterone almost overwhelming them, making them tired and aggressive need extra special nutrients like zinc and omega three especially.
One of the most interesting conferences I have attended was run by FAB (Food and Behaviour Research). There was an amazing speaker there called Bernard Gesch who studied the diets of young offenders and this is one of them.
(taken from the Guardian):
Young offender’s diet
One young offender had been sentenced by the British courts on 13 occasions for stealing trucks in the early hours of the morning.
Bernard Gesch recorded the boy’s daily diet as follows:
Breakfast: nothing (asleep)
Mid morning: nothing (asleep)
Lunchtime: 4 or 5 cups of coffee with milk and 2½ heaped teaspoons of sugar
Mid afternoon: 3 or 4 cups of coffee with milk and 2½ heaped sugars
Tea: chips, egg, ketchup, 2 slices of white bread, 5 cups of tea or coffee with milk and sugar
Evening: 5 cups of tea or coffee with milk and sugar, 20 cigarettes, £2 worth of sweets, cakes and if money available 3 or 4 pints of beer.”