Cabbage Can Cut Crime, Claims New Research

The Birmingham Post (England), June 26, 2002 | Go to article overview

Cabbage Can Cut Crime, Claims New Research


Feeding young prisoners cabbages, carrots and other fresh vegetables can help cut the number of offences they commit by more than a quarter, it is claimed today.

A new study found that adding vitamins, minerals and other nutritional elements to the diets of young offenders 'remarkably' reduced their anti-social behaviour.

Researchers studied 230 inmates aged between 18 and 21 at Aylesbury young offenders' institution in Buckinghamshire in what is claimed to be one of the first projects in the world to demonstrate scientifically what causes offending.

The researchers believe the findings might help prevent crime and lead to a fall in the prison population, which is at crisis point, with some jails experiencing dangerous overcrowding.

Bernard Gesch, lead author of the study at the University of Surrey, said: 'In future we may have a choice where we continue to lock up even more of our children, or we nourish them properly. The study did take place in a prison regime, but since every one of us needs these nutrients regardless of being in prison, there is every reason to think it may also reduce offending in the community when poor diets are consumed.'

Mr Gesch, now a senior research scientist in physiology at Oxford University, added: 'The supplements just provided the vitamins, minerals and fatty acids found in a good diet which the inmates should be getting anyway. …

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