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    Measuring Behavior in 3-Year-Olds

    To investigate whether nutrition plays a role in inhibitory control and executive functioning early in life, we collected data on behavior using different tasks (see previous blog). To perform these tasks, we choose to visit the children at home with the aim 1) to burden the families less, and 2) to test the children in their home environments
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    Should You Prepare for Grocery Shopping? The Role of Hunger.

    Have you ever done your weekly grocery shopping and ended up with more than actually written on your grocery list? Everybody has at least once experienced how it is to buy food in a supermarket with hunger and buy much more than planned. The widely known recommendation: Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry!!! But is it only a myth
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    Stress and Nutrition: Hungry Brain

    In times of stress, there are mainly two eating patterns in which people react: some tend to eat less, some eat more (Yau & Potenza, 2013). The latter then, unfortunately, develop a desire for more salty, sweet and fatty foods, leading to negative health consequences such as weight gain (Groesz et al., 2012) which in turn may influence
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    What is a Healthy Diet?

    A healthy diet has numerous benefits. But what does a healthy diet consist of? And how do we, researchers, measure diet quality? What’s considered a healthy diet in one country or culture, may not be regarded as such in another. For instance, low-fat and unsweetened dairy products are regarded as healthy in my country, the Netherlands, but
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    Nutrition and Psychiatry: Experience of Attending the 19th WPA World Congress of Psychiatry

    Recently I had a great chance to participate in the 19th WPA World Congress of Psychiatry which took place in Lisbon 21-24 of August 2019. Such an international scientific event summarizes recent findings and sets a trend for future research. The effect of lifestyle on mental health was one of the topics discussed at the conference.
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    How the Gene Called TFAP2B May Increase the Risk for Obesity

    The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased worldwide and is affecting millions of adults and children 1. The development of obesity is complex with factors like genetics, individual metabolism, dietary and physical activity choices, food and water availability, education and culture, playing a role 2. Several genome wide
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    How Eating Healthy Can Keep You Mentally Healthy

    Mens sana in corpore sano – healthy mind and healthy body Food insecurity – defined as an individual or household lacking access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets individuals' dietary needs – has been linked to children's behavioral, academic, and emotional problems and an increased risk of the development of mental health
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    Twin Studies: A Unique Epidemiological Tool

    Twin studies have been used for decades to estimate the relative importance of genes and environments for traits, behaviors and disorders. A very large meta-analysis of all twin studies conducted during the past 50 years (almost 3000 publications) revealed that across all studied traits the average reported heritability was 49%, meaning that
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    How to encourage children with neurodevelopmental disorders to live healthy?!

    Neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention deficit disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASS) and different types of anxiety disorders are associated with a higher risk of poor dietary, physical activity and sleep habits. Shaping behavior in children with neurodevelopmental symptoms can be challenging. How do parents experience
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    The effects of food insecurity on mental health

    According to the food and agriculture organization, about 1 billion people in the world were living in hunger or insecurity in the year 2010 (1). Additionally, 5 to 15 % of people in industrial countries experience food insecurity which makes it all the more a public health concern in Europe (2). But, what exactly is food insecurity
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    Can mineral-vitamin treatment change the microbiome? Yes it can!

    This week, my lab at the University of Canterbury published the first investigation1 into whether a mineral-vitamin supplement could change the bacteria in the microbiome of children with ADHD. Our preliminary data, based on our sample of 17 kids (half of whom were given micronutrients and half were given placebo for 10 weeks), hints at
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    Measuring impulsivity in 3-year-old children

    For my research, I measured impulsive behaviour in 3-year-old children. Briefly, impulsivity is the opposite of inhibitory control. There are several forms of inhibitory control, and although there is no official categorisation of different forms of inhibitory control in young children, Anderson & Reidy (2012) defined five categories. The
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