Fiona Hunter has seen a connection between mental health crisis and a poor diet in teenagers. It seems that they might lack the vitamins and minerals, thus making them feel unhappy. The research recently published shows that people between 16 to 25 years old have the highest risk of feeling unhappy. One in four people feels ‘hopeless’.
Not Only Old People Get Sick!
But this issue can be fixed with a balanced diet, said Fiona Hunter, a well-known U.K. nutritionist. She also argues that teens and young adult believe they’re healthy since they’re fit and full of energy and don’t care about issues like heart disease or cancer, because that’s what old people develop.
Unfortunately, these diseases can occur in young people too. And they’re triggered by what they consume early in life. Autopsies performed on young soldiers that were fit and died in wars showed that one in 12 cases had early signs of heart disease.
Low Levels of Minerals and Vitamins Cause Depression
As for the mental health, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) has published a research showing that many teenagers have low levels of important minerals and vitamins that are linked to mental problems. Their health problems in the future could get worse.
Dr. Jen Nash is the founder of Eating Blueprint and a clinical psychologist that specializes in food behavior:
‘The decrease in balanced nutrition shown on the NDNS report can only serve to influence the rise in emotional instability, given that the brain, moods and cognition are influenced by dietary factors. Nutritional intake is a factor that parents have little control of outside the home, so if we can do our best to ensure our teenagers are achieving a wide range of vitamins and minerals when they are at home, all the better.’
Among the issues of low vitamin and mineral intake in teens and young adults, the NDNS study shows that only 8% of the people between 11-18 years-old consumed five portions of fruit and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables contain the B vitamin folate, magnesium, and potassium, and according to the study, 28% of young girls between 11-18 years-old had low levels of folate in the red blood cells.
Depression and mental health problems are linked to low levels of folate and omega-3 fats.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.