food for the brain

Championing optimum nutrition for the mind

What the experts say

Professor Helga Refsum,  professor of nutrition at Oslo University and visiting professor of nutrition at Oxford University, comments:

“These preliminary results are really quite striking and I look forward to the full details. With such a study, one cannot identify the cause of the improvements. Ideally, further controlled studies should be done in which changes in nutrition are separated from changes in physical activity and the attitudes of children, teachers and parents. These scientific questions are important, but perhaps what matters most of all is that the overall approach of ‘Food for the Brain’ has had such benefical results in practice.”

Dr David Woodhouse, University of Teesside, principal lecturer in psychology and director of the Cactus Clinic, says this:

“We tested a sub-group of ten children with behavioural or learning difficulties using the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) test, a computerized test that measures inattention and impulsivity. Based on the initial testing programme seven children tested on the TOVA had scores that were in the ADHD range and three children were within normal limits. First Post test scores at three months indicated that seven improved their scores on the test with only one child showing no improvement and two not appearing for the test. All the children showed improvement in impulsivity. Out of the eight tested only four remained in the ADHD classification all with all children moving towards normal limits. On the final Post test of all of the four that had still scores within the ADHD classification were now within the normal range. However two of the remaining children did not perform as well as they had on previous tests and had scores that fell within the ADHD range. Overall the TOVA testing would appear to indicate that there were beneficial aspects to the Food for the Brain intervention conducted at the school and, although with limited numbers, there was a significant reduction in overall impulsivity and a general improvement in alertness and responsiveness suggested by the test results.”

Sarah Naylor from SAQ International, whose functional exercise programmes are now part of the school's daily routine comments:

"There have been marked improvements in balance, co-ordination and fitness levels with more children getting involved in sport and physical activity both inside and outside of school. These improved levels of participation have made a significant contribution to increased levels of self esteem and self confidence not just in physical activities but in the children generally.”

Dr Rona Tutt OBE, Chair of the Food for the Brain Foundation and Past President of National Association of Head Teachers:

“This has been a very timely and worthwhile project. It has illustrated the influence of nutrition on both learning and behaviour. I hope it will be possible for many more schools and children to benefit from this approach to pupils’ well-being.”