Children with healthier diets do better in school

March 21st, 2008 - 3:15 pm ICT by admin  

Montreal, March 21 (IANS) Children with healthier diets perform better in school, shows a survey of 5,000 fifth grade students and their parents as part of a Canadian 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 healthy dietary components included saturated fat and salt, while healthy foods were classified by fruits, vegetables, grains, dietary fibre, proteins, calcium and moderate fat intake.

A standardised literacy assessment was administered to the children. Relative to students in the group with the lowest DQI-I scores, students in the group with the best scores were 41 percent less likely to fail the assessment.

“We demonstrated that above and beyond socio-economic factors, diet quality is important to academic performance,” the authors conclude.

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