Healthy eating 'can cut crime'
Encouraging healthier eating could be the government's secret weapon in the fight against crime, according to experts.
A study by researchers at the University of Oxford has found that adding vitamins and other vital nutrients to young people's diets can cut crime.
They found that improving the diets of young offenders at a maximum security institution in Buckinghamshire cut offences by 25%.
The improvement was huge
The study - one of the first to show a scientific link between healthy eating and crime - has now been extended to see if the findings can be applied to the population in general.
Bernard Gesch and colleagues at the University of Oxford enrolled 230 young offenders from HM Young Offenders Institution Aylesbury in their study.
Half of the young men received pills containing vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. The other half received placebo or dummy pills.
The researchers recorded the number and type of offences each of the prisoners committed in the nine months before they received the pills and in the nine months during the trial.
They found that the group which received the supplements committed 25% fewer offences than those who had been given the placebo.
The greatest reduction was for serious offences, including violence which fell by 40%.
There was no such reduction for those on the dummy pills.
The authors described the finding as "remarkable".
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