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Dairy and fruits in daily diet may predict later academic achievement

Higher dairy consumption in the early years is associated with higher academic performance during childhood.

Previous research has shown that nutrition is associated with academic performance in children and adolescents. Here, Nyaradi et al. investigated the associations between early diet and academic performance during childhood.

Academic performance at 10 and 12 year

The academic performance in childhood can affect future career and income. It is also associated with better health behaviors and outcomes, and therefore, important for public health considerations. This work investigated diet quality among 2287 participants in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study at the one-, two- and three-year follow-ups. They looked at the association between diet scores and the Western Australian Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (WALNA) data from grades five (age 10) and seven (age 12).

Dairy and fruits associated with better performances

The results of this investigation show that a better quality diet score at the age of one year was associated with better performances at both grades, five and seven. The authors found significantly higher scores in mathematics, reading, writing and spelling. A better diet quality over two years was associated with higher academic scores for mathematics, writing and spelling at grade seven.

When looking in more detail, they found that a higher dairy consumption at the age of one, two and three year were associated with higher academic scores at all ages. Higher fruit consumption at age one was also associated with better performances at 10 and 12 year. The authors concluded that the quality of early diet may predict later academic achievement.

To learn more, read the original article.

Source : Nyaradi A et al. Acta Paediatrica. Volume 105, Issue 5, pages e209–e218, May 2016. DOI: 10.1111/apa.13324

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