Mental health epidemic is "great threat to humanity": Expert

By Stephen Daniells in London

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Mental health epidemic is "great threat to humanity": Expert
A change in the nutritional paradigm away from calories towards healthy brain growth is needed if society is to avoid an impending mental health epidemic, leading omega-3 researchers have said.

Speaking at the Celebration of DHA event in London, Professor Michael Crawford told Stephen Daniells that we need to move away from our atherogenic/anthrombogenic-type fats in our diet and increase our consumption of marine-based fats.

"We estimate that the bulk of the mental health issues could potentially be addressed and the impending rise in disorders reversed through adequate nutrition and we urge all parties to come together in tackling this most serious of problems,"​ said Prof Crawford, director of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition at the London Metropolitan University.

At the same event, Jack Winkler, Professor of Nutrition Policy, hit out at public health policy. EU legislation to allow for health claims to be made about the consumption of plant and marine-based omega-3s has led to the "legalised deception of consumers"​, said Prof Winkler.

"EFSA has also set low dietary recommendations for DHA and EPA of 250 mg per day, and the European Commission has used this is a basis for making claims. A product can claim that it is high in omega-3 if it contains just 30 per cent of this. The practical consequence is that European consumers following this advice would be consuming too little DHA/EPA to do them much good," ​said Prof Winkler.

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