Teens who have a diet lacking in omega-3 fatty acids may be more likely to have anxiety-like behavior and perform worse on memory tasks when they become adults.

Researchers fed mice a balanced diet until early adolescence. Then some of the mice were switched to a diet lacking in omega-3 fatty acids. The brains of the mice fed the diet low in omega-3 fatty acids had a harder time tuning connections in parts of the brain related to behavior as they became adults.

The team notes as teens become independent and start making their own food choices, it’s important they learn to eat properly to help their brains grow.

Further research is needed because studies in animals don’t always reflect the way things appear in humans.