A healthy diet can make all the difference to your kid's performance at school, says a new study.
Researchers led by Paul J. Veugelers, MSc, PhD of the University of Alberta conducted a survey that involved around 5000 Canadian fifth grade students and their parents.
They recorded information regarding dietary intake, height, and weight.
Then the researchers used the Diet Quality Index-International (DQI-I) 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.
After this, the researchers carried out a standardized literacy assessment and used multilevel regression methods to examine the link between indicators of diet quality and academic performance.
They found that kids who had healthier diets tended to do better at school.
"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."
The study appears in the Journal of School Health.