Cognitive and Social Development Related To Nutrition

Cognitive and Social Development Related To Nutrition

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It has long been said that you are what you eat. In my case I am a grilled cheese sandwich through and through.

Yet, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, US have revealed that if a child eats healthily it can have a positive impact on their all-round social and mental development.

Previous studies also found a link between malnutrition and a decrease in cognitive abilities in their more junior years.

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However, this study wanted to unearth evidence that would have an affect on children’s social development.

How will it affect heir levels of play, friendliness and interaction?

Many people link healthy nutrition with physical appearance and performance. However, most lack the acknowledgement of how it can improve your mental and social abilities.

A previous study in 2013 discovered that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables made the participants feel more positive and optimistic.

It seems that a healthy diet has the double effect of physical and mental well being. As a result, some psychiatrists are believing that a healthy diet is as important to mental and cognitive function as it is to cardiovascular health.

Now that we are more in-tuned with mental health which has always been a hidden health issue, good nutrition may well be a starting point to alleviate any problems a person maybe suffering.


In the study, nearly 1,800 3 year old children were analyzed for their physical health factors and social development aspects that were all related to nutrition.

Nutritional deficiencies were identified by iron anemia, angular stomatitis and thin, discolored hair.

Whereby social abilities were identified by levels of active social play, exploration, friendliness and verbal skills.


The researchers found that children who suffered from more of the nutritional deficiency conditions also had lower levels of social behavior and development, and they believe that somewhere in there is a neurocognitive link between nutrition and social behavior.

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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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