Could what you eat be making you more violent?

A strong link has been found between poor diet and anti-social, violent and criminal behaviour.

In recent studies, it was observed that frequently consuming junk foods can be associated with increased violence and feelings of anxiety and depression by negatively affecting brain development and communication in both adults and children. These foods included soft drinks, fried foods, sugary foods, processed meats, cakes, and chocolate.

Deficiency in fatty acids, iron, zinc and magnesium are all associated with impaired mental development and function, and increased aggression.

Children who frequently consumed these foods were less able to focus, learn, and prone to being hyperactive and violent. But then supplementation of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (like omega 3) was shown to decrease violence.

This make's the UK Governments recent campaign to curb knife crime with ads on fried chicken boxes all the more distasteful, counter-productive, inflammatory and disrespectful. Perhaps wiser to look at reducing the number of fast food outlets in deprived areas, and supporting the local food businesses that are making healthier options available.

Not Just Deficiencies: Exposure to fluoride and heavy metals like lead, mercury and cadmium damages the brain, and can result in aggression in children and adults.

There are a similar concerns with the UK prison system. Although all prisons have a 'Balance of Good Health' model to abide by, in many cases the inmates food choices still end up restricted, menus are not detailed accurately, and some dishes are not always as healthy as they might or could be. Poor diet has been shown to increase likelihood of a prisoner becoming violent, and increases their likelihood of reoffending once released.

The negative effects of the typical western diet have become so widespread, we may actually undergo a social and economic evolution once enough of us get our diet and mind right.

One thing is clear, if anything does change, it'll be because you made the change yourself.

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