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Prison study to investigate link between diet and behavior
Date:1/29/2008

e such a large effect is because the proper functioning of nerve cell membranes and signalling molecules depends upon adequate amounts of minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids in the diet.

This is a positive approach to preventing the problems of antisocial and criminal behaviour," says Bernard Gesch, Director of Natural Justice. "It is simple, it seems to be highly effective and the only 'risk' from a better diet is better health. It is a rare win-win situation in criminal justice.

The study is being funded through a 1.4 million award from the Wellcome Trust, the UK's largest medical research charity.

"If this study shows that nutritional supplementation affects behaviour, it could have profound significance for nutrition guidelines not only within the criminal justice system, but in the wider community, in schools, for example," says Dr Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust. "We are all used to nutritional guidelines for our physical health, but this study could lead to revisions taking into account our mental health, as well."

The new three year study will start in May and has been facilitated by the Ministry of Justice, HM Prison Service and the Scottish Prison Service. It will be carried out at three HM Young Offenders Institutions Hindley, Greater Manchester; Lancaster Farms, Lancashire; and Polmont, Falkirk.

Prisons Minister David Hanson MP said: "I welcome this study by the Wellcome Trust and I hope that it will shed further light on the possible links between nutrition and behaviour among young people. Sound, further research in this area will have the potential, dependent on the findings, to inform the development of policy on behaviour management."


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Contact: Craig Brierley
c.brierley@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-7329
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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