Fish effect on wellbeing studied

HUNDREDS of young people have been taking part in an unusual experiment to find out if eating more seafood can improve their mental wellbeing. But the results so far have been inconclusive according to

Conducted by NIFES, Norway’s National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research, the trial has been held in the Norwegian coastal city of Bergen.

Some 500 students from eight local schools have been divided up into three groups, each eating a different type of meal.

One group is served oily fish such as salmon, another meat and the third omega-3 capsules. They were then asked to fill out a questionnaire about their behaviour, and their relationships with friends and family.

NIFES says that while earlier studies have suggested that seafood can have a beneficial effect on mental health, this trial had so far failed to establish such a link.

It found there was no marked change in the mental health of the participants between the start and the finish of the trials.

NIFES says there could be a number of reasons for this, including the fact that three months was too short a period or simply that fish does not have a marked effect on personality.

However, a small group differed from the main body of students in that those who ate fish said they felt a little better than those on the meat diet.

NIFES researcher Lisbeth Dahl said: ‘So few people were involved that we could not make any conclusions with this subgroup.’

The trial is part of a much larger study looking at the impact of eating fish on general health and wellbeing.



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