Behavior, Crime, Brain Function, IQ, Nutrition, Environmental Quality
- CRIME TIMES: series on Behavior, Crime, Brain Function, IQ,
Nutrition, Environmental Quality
Vol. 6, No. 2, 2000 Page 3&6
School study: Supplementation decreases delinquent behaviors,
Vol. 5, No. 1, 1999 Page 3
Enriched formulas increase babies' IQs
Vol. 6, No. 2, 2000 Page 7
A formula for higher IQ?
Vol. 6, No. 1, 2000 Page 5&6
Can diet change IQ?
Vol. 3, No. 4, 1997 Page 1&2&3
Zeroing in on Pollution, Criminality Connection
Vol. 4, No. 1, 1998 Page 2
Link Between Diet and Behavior: Related Research
Vol. 4, No. 1, 1998 Page 1
Feature Article: Diet and Behavior
Vol. 4, No. 1, 1998 Pages 1 & 2 & 3 & 4
New Studies Show Strong Links Between Diet, Behavior
Vol. 1, No. 1-2 , 1995, Page 7
Aggression, Suicide: Zeroing In on a Chemical Culprit
Vol. 2, No. 2 , 1996, Page 4&5
Intelligence Scores and Behavior: Even a Few Points Matter
Vol. 8, No. 2, 2002 Page 5
Highlights from Research Into ADHD and LD
Vol. 6, No. 1, 2000 Page 1&5
ADHD: new evidence of crime link; advocacy group calls for
research on role of diet, food additives
Vol. 5, No. 1, 1999 Page 1&2&6
NIH workshop spurred by findings about omega-3 fatty acids'
effects on mental ills
Vol. 6, No. 4, 2000 Page 3&6
Dyslexia, behavior problems: a fatty acid link?
Vol. 8, No. 2, 2002 Page 2
Fatty acid supplements improve behavior, cognition in learning
Vol. 6, No. 3, 2000 Page 1&3
Study reveals gains in learning-disabled students given nutrients
[Note: apparently the subjects' DIET was not changed. Rather,
they recieved a nutritional supplement. -- AEL]
"The nutrients we provided caused the reduction in anti-social
behaviour... The greatest reduction was for more serious crimes
including violence... The improvement was huge" -- Dr Bernard
Tuesday, 25 June, 2002, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Healthy eating 'can cut crime'
Encouraging healthier eating could be the government's secret
weapon in the fight against crime, according to experts.
A study by researchers at the University of Oxford has found that
adding vitamins and other vital nutrients to young people's diets
can cut crime.
They found that improving the diets of young offenders at a
maximum security institution in Buckinghamshire cut offences by
The study - one of the first to show a scientific link between
healthy eating and crime - has now been extended to see if the
findings can be applied to the population in general.
Bernard Gesch and colleagues at the University of Oxford enrolled
230 young offenders from HM Young Offenders Institution Aylesbury
in their study.
Half of the young men received pills containing vitamins, minerals
and essential fatty acids. The other half received placebo or
The researchers recorded the number and type of offences each of
the prisoners committed in the nine months before they received
the pills and in the nine months during the trial.
They found that the group which received the supplements committed
25% fewer offences than those who had been given the placebo.
The greatest reduction was for serious offences, including
violence which fell by 40%.
There was no such reduction for those on the dummy pills.
The authors described the finding as "remarkable".
Writing in the British Journal of Psychiatry, they said improving
diets could be a cost-effective way of reducing crime in the
community and also reducing the prison population.
Mr Gesch said: "The supplements just provided the vitamins,
minerals and fatty acids found in a good diet which the inmates
should get anyway. Yet the improvement was huge."
He added: "This approach needs to be re-tested but looks
to be cheap, highly effective and humane."
He said that given that nutrients were the building blocks of the
brain and its associated structures, it was highly likely that a
good diet would have a direct impact on behaviour.
The study was organised by Natural Justice, a research charity set
up in 1991 to investigate the social and physical causes of crime.
Its chairman Bishop Hugh Montefiore of Birmingham, said: "The
study is of great importance not only to those who work inside
prisons but also more widely in the community."
He added: "There are many causes of anti-social behaviour. But our
project has shown that an important factor is the lack of proper
"The reduction of disciplinary offences by 25% among those who
took the supplements cannot be shrugged off as insignificant."
Sir David Ramsbotham, former chief inspector of prisons, urged
officials to consider the findings.
"It must make sense for the prison service to explore every avenue
that might enable every prisoner to live a useful and law abiding
"If healthy eating is part of a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy
lifestyle is a crime-free lifestyle, I hope that they will look
seriously at exploiting the evidence presented to them."
Ron Blackburn, professor of clinical psychology at the University
of Liverpool, said: "Efforts to reduce offending usually require
"This research programme promises to have an impact on antisocial
behaviour with minimal intervention and deserves full support."
The BBC's James Ingham
British Journal of Psychiatry
Royal College of Psychiatrists
HM Prison Service
"Giving all prisoners an improved diet of micronutrients might cost
about �3.5m [3.5 million pounds] a year, against an overall prison
service budget of nearly �2bn [2.0 billion pounds]." [Hmmmm.
Think it is worth .17% of the budget? ;-) -- AEL]
Anti-social conduct may be linked to diet, says study
James Meikle, health correspondent
Wednesday June 26, 2002
Improving the vitamins, minerals and fatty acids in the diets of
young offenders appeared to reduce their anti-social behaviour
dramatically, according to a Home Office-backed study.
Yesterday it prompted calls for further research into the impact
of nutrition on crime.
Results of trials in one maximum security institution for 18- to
21-year-old men suggested that inmates who took special
supplements committed more than a quarter fewer disciplinary
offences while serving their sentences than those who were
unknowingly simply taking dummy pills.
Significant infringements of discipline, including violence, fell
by 37%, according to authors of the study, which was organised
with the help of the Home Office and prison service.
The results will be published soon in the British Journal of
Hugh Montifiore, former bishop of Birmingham and chairman of
Natural Justice, the charity behind the study at the young
offenders' institution in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, suggested
that there was a correlation, if not a direct connection, between
the rises in fast food consumption and youth crime.
"More and more fast food is being consumed. More and more made-up
dishes are sold in supermarkets. School meals are a matter of
choice, the less nutritious they [pupils] like best, and there is
less and less cooking with proper ingredients.
"None of us claims that lack of proper nutrition is the sole cause
of anti-social behaviour. But the evidence does show that it is an
hitherto unknown major contributor."
Bernard Gesch, who led the study while he was at Surrey
University, Guildford, said: "The supplements just pro vided the
vitamins, minerals and fatty acids found in a good diet which the
inmates should be getting anyway. Yet the improvement in behaviour
It was not necessarily long-lasting, however. Shortly after the
experiment ended staff reported that violence against them rose by
Mr Gesch is now a research scientist in physiology at Oxford
University as well as director of Natural Justice, which
investigates causes of criminal behaviour.
His team pointed out nutrients were crucial ingredients in the
biochemical processes that produced brain transmitters like
seratonin and dopamine, which affect mood.
Giving all prisoners an improved diet of micronutrients might cost
about �3.5m a year, against an overall prison service budget of
Mr Gesch added: "This approach needs to be retested, but it looks
to be cheap, highly effective and humane."
The results might be even better in adolescent children, he
Sir David Ramsbotham, former chief inspector of prisons, said the
Home Office should carefully consider the implications of the
Alan Simpson, Labour MP for Nottingham South, called for other
studies to be conducted in schools and hospitals.
He said: "We may be sitting on a timebomb which it is entirely
within our ability to defuse. If we choose to feed up our kids
rather than just bang them up, we may also discover we have found
a better way of bringing them up."
The government is trying to find ways of changing people's eating
behaviour without acting like a nanny state. Healthy eating
messages appear to be quite well understood but are far from
widely converted into action.
Guardian Unlimited � Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002