Does diet affect our criminal behavior? Posted May . Studies have shown that " there clearly is a connection" between nutrients and behavioral. Diet Linked to Crime - Diet and Crime Hibbeln and colleagues currently are studying the relationships between omega-3 fatty acids and serotonin and. It also examines how the relationship between food insecurity and violent crime varies in relation to the level of dependent variables such as the income level.
Professor of Criminology and Sociology at California State University, Stephen Shoenthaler, has been studying the effects of vitamins on inmates in California for the last 20 years.
Now normally, past violent behavior is considered the best prediction of future violence. But professor Shoenthaler found that a poor diet is an even better predictor of violent behavior.
So where do vegetarian diets fit into all of this?
Crime and diet: is there a relationship?
Well, since vegetarian diets represent nutrition par excellence, we would expect some pretty definite effects. King was sentenced to a 28 year term at Powhatan Correctional Center in Virginia for burglary. When he got to prison King weighed pounds and was addicted to cocaine. Since that time he has eaten his way back to physical and mental health. King became a near vegan through a special program at the prison, and it had a big effect on him. He lost 50 pounds, freed himself of drug dependency and earned 53 credits at J.
Sargeant Reynolds Community College with an A average.What is a healthy relationship with food? - Rhiannon Lambert - TEDxUniversityofEastAnglia
So prisoners who give up eating meat improve their behavior. How about the effect of meat on those who produce it, slaughterhouse workers for instance? Would merely producing meat incline a person to violence and crime? University of Windsor Criminology professor Amy Fitzgerald says statistics show that there may be a link between slaughterhouses and brutal crime.
According to the professor, as the number of slaughterhouse workers in a community increases, the crime rate also increases. It provides empirical support for the contention that children who watch more television eat more of the foods it advertises.
Watching television, the paper reported, "is also inversely associated with intake of fruit and vegetables". There is no longer any serious debate about what a TV diet does to your body.
Diet and Crime - Page 3
A government survey published last month shows that the proportion of children in English secondary schools who are clinically obese has almost doubled in 10 years. But the more interesting question is what this diet might do to your mind. There are now scores of studies suggesting that it hurts the brain as much as it hurts the heart and the pancreas. Among the many proposed associations is a link between bad food and violent or antisocial behaviour. The most spectacular results were those reported in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine in The researchers had conducted a double-blind, controlled experiment in a jail for chronic offenders aged between 13 and Many of the boys there were deficient in certain nutrients.
The researchers treated half the inmates with capsules containing the missing nutrients, and half with placebos.
They also counselled all the prisoners in the trial about improving their diets.
Link Between Diet and Crime?
But among the inmates in the placebo group who refused to improve their diets, there was no reduction. The researchers also wired their subjects to an electroencephalograph to record brainwave patterns, and found a major decrease in abnormalities after 13 weeks on supplements. Researchers in Finland found that all 68 of the violent offenders they tested during another study suffered from reactive hypoglycaemia: In March this year the lead author of the report, Bernard Gesch, told the Ecologist magazine that "having a bad diet is now a better predictor of future violence than past violent behaviour Likewise, a diagnosis of psychopathy, generally perceived as being a better predictor than a criminal past, is still miles behind what you can predict just from looking at what a person eats.
Quite aside from the physiological effects of eating too much sugar apparent to anyone who has attended a children's partythe brain, whose function depends on precise biochemical processes, can't work properly with insufficient raw materials.
- About Vegetarians of Washington
- Diet Linked to Crime - Diet and Crime
The most important of these appear to be unsaturated fatty acids especially the omega 3 typeszinc, magnesium, iron, folate and the B vitamins, which happen to be those in which the prisoners in the study were most deficient. A report published at the end of last year by the pressure group Sustain explained what appear to be clear links between deteriorating diets and the growth of depression, behavioural problems, Alzheimer's and other forms of mental illness.
Sixty per cent of the dry weight of the brain is fat, which is "unique in the body for being predominantly composed of highly unsaturated fatty acids". Zinc and magnesium affect both its metabolism of lipids and its production of neurotransmitters - the chemicals which permit the nerve cells to communicate with each other.