Scientists Recommend Fish Oil Requirement For Kids

Staying on the topic of fish oil, I found this interesting piece about a UK-funded research group called the Dyscovery Centre that recommends the British government provide cod liver oil (as well as orange juice) daily to kids at school to improve their diet and concentration.

That recommendation was based on a survey of more than 1,100 school children that found 86 percent of them hadn't eaten fish any time during the previous day. And those who did usually ate fried fish or fish fingers. Other sad facts about their poor eating habits:

  • About 25 percent of the children polled ate their dinners alone.
  • Sixty-one percent usually ate their dinner in front of the TV.
  • A fourth had eaten servings of fried potatoes twice the day before the survey.
  • Fifty-five percent hadn't eaten either fruit or vegetables the day before either.

The centre, whose specialty is supporting people who have learning disabilities, believes this spectacular lack of nutrition among kids they found in their survey may be a key factor in causing attention problems and learning difficulties. And due to the worldwide problem with mercury that taints so almost all of our most natural resource of omega-3 fats -- fish -- the addition of fish oil to anyone's diet will certainly make a huge difference.

In fact, a major study I posted three years ago found the same important components of fish oil -- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) which are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that appear to support brain development -- were present in breast milk. That has everything to do with why breast-feeding was linked to intellectual development in early and middle childhood.

To learn more about the many benefits fish oil provides, I urge you to review my fish oil/cod liver oil frequently asked questions page that will link you to the various studies I've posted and answer many of your questions about this essential food.

Timesonline.co.uk March 2, 2005

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