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Report Recommends UK Government Offer Vitamins To Improve Prison Behavior

NEWS

Following research showing that prisoners are less violent and behave better if they eat well, an independent review in the UK has recommended that prisons should promote healthy eating options and consider offering nutritional Supplements.

COMMENT

Published by the UK government’s Ministry of Justice, it is notable that this review describes how, in a randomized trial of nutritional supplements involving 231 young adult prisoners in England, those receiving the supplements for at least 2 weeks committed an average of 35 percent fewer behavioral offences. Not only does the review therefore recommend that prisons should offer nutritional advice and promote a readily-available range of healthy eating options, it also recognizes that poor diet affects behavior and specifically states that prisons should consider offering nutritional supplements.

The underlying idea behind this area of research is essentially a simple one; namely that the brain needs to be nourished, just like all other organs of the body, and that it is therefore vital to consider the brain’s nutritional needs as a key factor in governing behavior. Further support for this understanding comes from work conducted in the United States, which has shown that school children given a daily supplement containing a mere 50 per cent of the RDA for a period of 4 months had lower rates of threats and fighting, vandalism, being disrespectful, disorderly conduct, defiance, obscenities, refusal to work or serve, endangering others, and other offences.

To read about similar research of this type conducted in the Netherlands, read this article on our website.

Download report from the UK government’s Ministry of Justice website
English