Children with healthier diets do better in school

Mar 20, 2008

A new study in the Journal of School Health reveals that children with healthy diets perform better in school than children with unhealthy diets.

Led by Paul J. Veugelers, MSc, PhD of the University of Alberta, researchers surveyed around 5000 Canadian fifth grade students and their parents as part of the Children’s Lifestyle and School-Performance Study.

Information regarding dietary intake, height, and weight were recorded and the Diet Quality Index-International (DQI-I) was used to summarize overall diet quality. The DQI-I score ranges from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better diet quality. Less healthful dietary components included saturated fat and salt, while healthy foods were classified by fruits, vegetables, grains, dietary fiber, protein, calcium and moderate fat intake.

A standardized literacy assessment was administered to the children. Multilevel regression methods were used to examine the association between indicators of diet quality and academic performance.

Students with an increased fruit and vegetable intake and less caloric intake from fat were significantly less likely to fail the literacy assessment. Relative to students in the group with the lowest DQI-I scores, students in the group with the best scores were 41 % less likely to fail the literacy assessment.

“We demonstrated that above and beyond socioeconomic factors, diet quality is important to academic performance,” the authors conclude. “These findings support the broader implementation and investment in effective school nutrition programs that have the potential to improve student’s diet quality, academic performance, and, over the long term, their health.”

Source: Blackwell Publishing

Explore further: Study recommends inmate immunity test

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Calculate your nitrogen footprint

May 15, 2013

Carbon footprints are a familiar way to assess how green your lifestyle is, but now you can also measure your nitrogen footprint using a new tool, the N-Calculator.

Recommended for you

Study recommends inmate immunity test

2 hours ago

(AP)—Federal experts are recommending that California test inmates for immunity to a sometimes fatal soil-borne fungus before incarcerating them at two Central Valley state prisons where the disease has killed nearly three ...

Down syndrome teens need support, health assessed

9 hours ago

Young adults with Down syndrome experience a range of physical and mental health conditions over and above those commonly reported in children with the condition—and these health problems may significantly ...

Time out for exercise

9 hours ago

University of Queensland researcher has found that restructuring our daily routine to include exercise can have unexpected effects on health.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

nonoice
not rated yet Mar 21, 2008
'We demonstrated that above and beyond socioeconomic factors, diet quality is important to academic performance,'

What is the influence of socioeconomic factors ON diet quality? You can't seperate the two.
Did they use four groups? children with same socioeconomic backgrounds and different diets?
etc etc.