A recent study by IDEFICS, have concluded that children adhering to healthy diets portray improved self-esteem, are happier and lacks emotional & peer problems.
Though it is a complex situation when encouraging children to eat nutritious food such as vegetables, fruit & fish, the aforementioned study has presented that children who do are more probable to benefit from a lack of emotional dilemmas and as a result, less inclined to being bullied.
Examining 7,675 children amid the ages of two and nine, entailing from eight European countries namely; Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Spain and Sweden, the researchers requested parents to report how frequently their child consumed food from a list of 43 items.
The children were then assigned a Healthy Dietary Adherence Score (HDAS), depending on their consumption of the aforementioned foods, aiming to record adherence to healthy dietary guidelines, including having more fruit and vegetables, reducing intake of fat & refined sugars.
The measurements of the children’s height and weight too were recorded and repeated once more two years later.
The results depicted that those who best met European healthy food guidelines portrayed improved self-esteem and wellbeing, irrespective of their weight.
Dr Louise Arvidsson, one of the authors from the study from the University of Gothenburg, further stated, “Among young children aged two to nine years there is an association between adherence to healthy dietary guidelines and better psychological well-being, which includes fewer emotional problems, better relationships with other children and higher self-esteem, two years later”.
Fascinatingly, the data exposed a link between consuming fish two to three times a week to improved self-esteem and a lack of emotional and peer dilemmas, such as the absence of friends or being bullied.
While the consumption of fruit and vegetables was accompanied by improved wellbeing, augmented self-esteem was associated with sensible sugar intake.