Patrick Holford, a renowned author and researcher, is the founder and CEO of UK charity Food for the Brain. He has been advocating for better nutrition to promote brain health since the 1970s. Holford has raised awareness about declining IQ scores worldwide, attributing this trend to diets high in complex carbs and sugar. He believes that a diet high in fats and essential vitamins and minerals can reverse this decline.
Holford emphasizes the urgency of addressing mental health problems, which are now rated as the number one most expensive and pressing health issue by government reports. He points to the increase in depression, autism, ADHD, and dementia as evidence of this alarming trend. Studies have shown a 7% decrease in IQ per generation since the 1970s, indicating a significant problem that needs to be addressed.
The prevalence of mental health issues among children is a major concern for Holford. In some parts of the UK, 50% of women are on antidepressants, highlighting the scale of the issue. Despite this dire situation, Holford is determined to bring attention to this issue through Food for the Brain and make as much noise as possible.
To support its cause, Food for the Brain has been using at-home blood spot tests and digital cognitive health questionnaires to assess the nutrition and cognition status of thousands of participants. By providing nutrition advice and building a substantial databank, the charity aims to catalyze a widespread shift in perceptions around mental and cognitive health. For further details on this mission, you can listen to a podcast with NutraIngredients Europe Editor Nikki Hancocks available now.