Children with healthier diets do better in school

March 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: Reducing peanut allergy risks in children—The Nurse Practitioner presents update

Related Stories

Reducing peanut allergy risks in children—The Nurse Practitioner presents update

February 15, 2018
New prevention and treatment approaches can reduce serious health risks due to peanut allergy in children, according to an article in the March issue of The Nurse Practitioner.

Team develops database to warn physicians of possible drug interactions for epilepsy patients on ketogenic diets

February 9, 2018
A physician-scientist at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix has developed a new database to ensure that individuals on ketogenic diets to help treat a certain kind of epilepsy are not prescribed potentially ...

Frequent family meals promote good nutritional health in children

January 19, 2018
Successful obesity prevention starts at home – at the family dinner table. The results of a meta-analysis conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the University of Mannheim have been published in ...

Is your child's school an obesity risk?

December 13, 2017
Child obesity rates are skyrocketing globally. Young children spend the lion's share of their time in school, consuming a large portion of their daily calories there and developing lifelong eating habits and food preferences ...

Regular takeaways linked to kids' heart disease and diabetes risk factors

December 14, 2017
Kids who regularly eat take-away meals may be boosting their risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Exploring the connections between nutrition and learning

January 5, 2018
We all know it's hard to focus when you're hungry. Researchers at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education are working across several fields to figure out why that is, how much it matters in the classroom and ...

Recommended for you

Low-fat or low-carb? It's a draw, study finds

February 20, 2018
New evidence from a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine might dismay those who have chosen sides in the low-fat versus low-carb diet debate.

Tobacco kills, no matter how it's smoked: study

February 20, 2018
(HealthDay)—Smokers who think cigars or pipes are somehow safer than cigarettes may want to think again, new research indicates.

Just a few minutes of light intensity exercise linked to lower death risk in older men

February 19, 2018
Clocking up just a few minutes at a time of any level of physical activity, including of light intensity, is linked to a lower risk of death in older men, suggests research published online in the British Journal of Sports ...

Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are not associated with risk of heart attacks

February 16, 2018
New research from the University of Southampton has found no association between the use of calcium or vitamin D supplementation and cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.

Women who clean at home or work face increased lung function decline

February 16, 2018
Women who work as cleaners or regularly use cleaning sprays or other cleaning products at home appear to experience a greater decline in lung function over time than women who do not clean, according to new research published ...

Study shows options to decrease risk of motor vehicle crashes for adolescent drivers

February 16, 2018
Adolescents who receive comprehensive and challenging on-road driving assessments prior to taking the license test might be protected from future motor vehicle crashes, according to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study ...

1 comment

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.