Diet quality has a significant positive influence on the academic performances of children. According to the study by MacLellan, Taylor and Wood (2008), those students who ate regular breakfast, three square meals, milk, fruits and vegetables were shown to have better attendance in school and higher grades. This study concluded that healthy diet patterns and normal body weight are positive contributors to academic performance.This study also stated the importance of breakfast in a child’s day. Children who had breakfast had higher energy levels, better learning ability, better attention span and scored higher in math than those who skipped breakfast.
Another study showed that children who consumed less than 50% of the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) of certain nutrients such as Vitamin A, B6 B12, Calcium, Zinc, Folate, Iron, etc., were found to have lower GPAs, high absence rates and tardiness than those children who reported taking meals with high RDA (Kleinman, et al., 2002). They also exhibited less behavioral issues.
In spite of some of the limitations of both studies, it is clear that the diet quality has a significant effect on academic performances and diet must be a definite consideration when looking into ways of improving our children’s academic performances.
MacLellan D, Taylor J, Wood K. Food intake and academic performance among adolescents. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research. 2008;69(3):141–144.
Kleinman RE, Hall S, Green H, Korzec-Ramirez D, Patton K, Pagano, ME, Murphy JM. Diet,breakfast, and academic performance in children. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism. 2002;46(suppl 1):24–30.