Healthy diet boosts children’s reading skills as group work harms memory
A recent study titled “Diet quality and academic achievement: a prospective study among primary school children,” published in the European Journal of Nutrition,
says A healthy diet is linked to better reading skills in the first three school years, shows a recent study from Finland, and the study constitutes part of the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland and the First Steps Study conducted at the University of Jyväskylä The study involved 161 children aged six to eight years old, and followed up on them from the first grade to the third grade in school. The quality of their diet was analyzed using food diaries, and their academic skills with the help of standardized tests. The closer the diet followed the Baltic Sea Diet and Finnish nutrition recommendations – that is high in vegetables, fruit and berries, fish, whole grain, and unsaturated fats and low in red meat, sugary products, and saturated fat – the healthier it was considered. The study showed that children, whose diet was rich in vegetables, fruit, berries, whole grain, fish and unsaturated fats, and low in sugary products, did better in tests measuring reading skills than their peers with a poorer diet quality. The study also found that the positive associations of diet quality with reading skills in Grades 2 and 3 were independent of reading skills in Grade 1. These results indicate that children with healthier diets improved more in their reading skills from Grade 1 to Grades 2-3 than children with poorer diet quality.