Food and Behaviour Research

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Ap Zaalberg, PhD

Ap Zaalberg

Policy Advisor, Ministry of Justice, Netherlands

Research Interests:

Ap Zaalberg trained as a clinical psychologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands.  He completed his Master’s thesis on family support in schizophrenia. After graduating, he worked in the clinical field with adolescents, long-stay patients and in-crisis intervention. He taught psychology and pedagogics for two years and subsequently trained prison staff to handle disturbed behaviour.

Since then, he has acted as Policy Advisor for the Ministry of Justice in the Netherlands, specialising in special needs prisoners, which includes psychiatric patients, sex offenders, mentally disabled prisoners and suicide prevention.

Following the publication of the first randomised controlled trial showing that nutritional supplementation could reduce antisocial behaviour in young offenders in secure custody (Gesch et al 2002), Ap successfully carried out similar studies in the Netherlands, and has spoken for FAB Research on this topic.

Since then, he has completed a PhD thesis: 'Nutrition, Neurotoxicants and Aggressive Behaviour' (Zaalberg, 2015), which provides a comprehensive review of the evidence that nutritional and other environmental exposures can influence aggression and other forms of antisocial behaviour.

Ap currently works at the Ministry of Security and Justice, the Netherlands, Research and Documentation Centre (WODC), carrying out research in Forensic Science, Nutritional Biochemistry and Nutrition and Dietetics.