Burks 1989


A Generation Ago Many Psychotherapists Thought Nutrition Relevant to Their Work.



There's still debate about the relevance of nutrition to the practice of psychotherapy. The provision of nourishment is clearly a core family function. The main controversy surrounds the question of whether family eating habits have an influence on the mental health of that family's members. A second question involves how appropriate it might be for psychotherapists to venture an opinion outside a narrowly-defined version of their scope of practice.

The years since the publication of this study have seen interest in this area wax and wane. Strong financial disincentives keep top-drawer American researchers from digging too deeply into this area; even European and Asian investigators can find the complexity of the issues daunting to tackle in conventional research terms. Conventional research does best when manipulating a single or a few variables. Yet the body is a complex phenomenon based on multiple inputs; test environments that don't model this complexity adequately have a tendency to return false negative results.

Nevertheless the interest was there. What happened? And why ... in spite of an abundance of lower level evidence ... do some authorities persist in insisting there is no evidence at all that nutrition affects mental health. That seems ... uninformed at least.

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