The Beacon School Leaderboard 09/05

Food for Thought

Published on isbi School News dated Thursday 19th of February 2015

Emilia McFadzean, a Year 8 pupil at St Benedict's School in Ealing, has won a special highly commended award in the Henry Kitchener Prize essay writing competition. Emilia was the youngest winner in the country and, along with her certificate, she received a prize of £100 at an Award Ceremony in Central London on Tuesday 20th January.

The competition for students under 18 years of age was organised by the Institute for Food, Brain and Behaviour (IFBB) which is a national charity making evidence-based policy recommendations, in the area of neuroscience and nutrition. The Henry Kitchener essay writing Prize was launched in 2014 in memory of Henry 3rd Earl Kitchener to encourage exploration into how scientific research in nutrition and neuroscience might help solve practical problems. Henry Kitchener was a physicist who was closely associated with the IFBB for over 20 years. Lady Emma Fellowes, Henry Kitchener's niece, together with Lord Fellowes presented the award.

Emilia describes the run of events: 'The topic was 'How does what we eat affect our brains?' This sounded very interesting, so I decided to give it a go. I really enjoyed researching the topic, as I didn't know that much about it before. I found a lot of information which showed that our nutritional intake (particularly that of omega-3 fatty acids) really does affect our memory, our learning and the functioning of our brain. The topic has recently become of great interest to both the public and to scientists. When writing my essay, I used fictional characters from my family to illustrate the effects of different foods on our brain. I tried to make it a little humorous as well as scientific, and I think the judges liked this. At the Awards Evening there was also a lecture by Professor Crawford about food and the brain. It was very thought-provoking, and the clear message that he gave is that we should all eat much more Omega-rich foods for the long-term health and effectiveness of our brains.'
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