A healthy diet is linked to improved school performance

March 24, 2008

Children with healthy diets perform better in school than children with unhealthy diets, according to the April Journal of School Health.

Children with healthy diets perform better in school than children with unhealthy diets, according to the April Journal of School Health.

Paul J. Veugelers, PhD, and colleagues surveyed approximately 5,000 Canadian fifth grade students and their parents, and used the Diet Quality Index-International (DQI-I) to summarize overall diet quality. Children completed a standardized literacy assessment.

The researchers found that students who consumed more fruits and vegetables and fewer calories from fat had a significantly lower likelihood of failing the literacy assessment. In addition, compared to students with the worst DQI-I scores, students with the best scores were 41% less likely to fail the literacy assessment.

Veugelers and colleagues concluded that their findings support the implementation of school nutrition programs that may lead to better academic performance and student health.