Relationship between child nutrition school outcomes

relationship between child nutrition school outcomes

nutrition and health, with a focus on school meals, to help build an evidence .. reports, diet and food choice and those with health outcomes. Nutrition and Academic Performance in School-Age Children The Relation to . The results of the surveys found that the consumption of Polyunsaturated Fatty. What is the Relationship Between Child Nutrition and School Outcomes? (Wider Benefits of Learning Research Report) [Annik Sorhaindo, Leon Feinstein] on.

The researchers then compared children's kindergarten readiness — measured through a mix of math and reading tests and teachers' reports of children's skills in areas that lead to classroom success, like curiosity and self-control — for children who were and were not food insecure. It showed that food insecurity in infancy and toddlerhood predicted lower cognitive and social-emotional skills in kindergarten. Anna Markowitz, a postdoctoral researcher at the Curry School's EdPolicyWorks research center and a coauthor of the study, said it's important to distinguish food insecurity — which is feeling unsure about whether you will have enough to eat — from hunger.

While they often go together, hunger is a physical experience, while food insecurity is psychological. Markowitz also emphasized that the results are non-causal — that is, it's impossible to know whether or not food insecurity directly causes decreased kindergarten readiness. Particularly for young children, whose well-being is dependent on their parents, tackling food insecurity means diving into parents' well-being and therefore a web of poverty-related factors, including maternal health and mental health, families' general economic security, parenting practices and more.

However, nutrition may also be a significant pathway through which food insecurity can potentially affect children.

What is the Relationship Between Child Nutrition and School Outcomes?

If you can start kids off in a good place, you can make a big difference. Researchers from the Curry School and UVA's Department of Economics have partnered with Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, a child nutrition advocacy group, and Ideas42, a behavioral design firm, on a study encouraging school districts in six states to adopt flexible breakfast programs that have been shown to feed more children.

Called "Breakfast After the Bell," the flexible breakfast program was developed the United States Department of Agriculture to address the large percentage of eligible students across the country who don't eat the free or reduced-price breakfast that their school provides. Breakfast programs are typically underutilized compared to lunch programs, possibly because they require students to arrive at school early, or because of social stigma.

Sullivan said while the programs are inexpensive overall, they still involve some start-up costs, like purchasing a cart or extra trashcans for classrooms.

relationship between child nutrition school outcomes

Another hurdle can be developing buy-in from teachers and cafeteria workers, who may need to adjust schedules and routines to accommodate the program. In the present study, most students were found to be eutrophic Adequate nutritional intake is known to potentiate the development of children in their daily activities, whereas food intake that fails to supply, or exceeds, individual nutrient requirements impairs biological functioning 9.

A high prevalence of children with overweight or obesity was found in the present study, which is a reflection of the nutrition transition that Brazil has undergone 18 - This phenomenon is characterized by a reduction in the prevalence of nutritional deficits and a significant increase in overweight and obesity Ministry of Health, In addition, malnutrition, micronutrient deficiency, and overweight may coexist in the same communities or households Only one undernourished child was identified in the present study sample; this could be due to the good quality of school meals, since most students attend full-time school, where they have five meals.

In the Brazilian population, it is possible to observe an elevated consumption of saturated fatty acids, sugars, industrialized foods, fat-rich foods, and goodies to the detriment of the intake of vegetables, fruits, and complex carbohydrates 11 Although the mean age of the children in the study was under 10 years, typically a time when sexual maturation has not yet begun, this hypothesis should be taken into consideration, as precocious sexual maturation contributes to double the likelihood of overweight19, In girls, menarche represents the beginning of the growth deceleration occurring by the end of the pubertal growth spurt, as well as greater accumulation of adipose tissue The poor performance observed in the TDE is in line with the findings of another study with elementary school children in Belo Horizonte However, the outcomes differ considerably from those obtained with students of Porto Alegre, the city where the TDE was standardized.

This discrepancy is not justified by regional or local characteristics 14since the realities of the two cities are analogous, as illustrated by the human development indices HDI of Porto Alegre 0. When relating the nutritional status to school performance, a statistically significant relationship was noted between writing skills and overweight; however, no other studies directly addressing these variables were found. A relationship between performance in the arithmetics test and nutritional status was also identified, with overweight students showing inferior performance.

The influence of nutritional status on school performance

The explanation for the poorer performance of the overweight students in the previously mentioned tasks could be that obese or overweight individuals engage in less physical activity and feel less motivated for the daily activities, with equally relevant emotional issues involved 9. It is believed that persistent demands regarding physical appearance and the "worship of beauty" can affect negatively the progress of those who do not meet the "ideal" standards of physical beauty. In children, this could lead to self-consciousness and withdrawal.

In the school setting, this situation can also give rise to difficulties when performing some tasks because these children might feel embarrassed 9. However, these explanations are hypothetical, since no scientific evidence of such linkages has been found to date. In the present study, no statistical difference was found between eutrophic, undernourished, and overweight students with respect to their performance in thereading tasks. However, the literature provides evidence that nutritional disorders adversely affect cognitive and language tasks 2829both of which precede the acquisition of reading skills.

The present study reiterates the need for government policies promoting the health of students, such as the PSE, instituted by Presidential Decree of December 5th, The PSE was the result of concerted work by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, the purpose of which was to extend the targeted health interventions to public school system students.

One of the actions included in the PSE is aimed at monitoring the nutritional status of the school community Early detection of overweight and obesity can foster public health strategies intended to improve the quality of life of the population Regarding academic performance, government policies such as the PSE enable interventions to reduce, or even eliminate, underachievement; this is of paramount importance given that children with these difficulties may develop emotional problems with ensuing repercussions in their individual, family, school and social life 6.

The results of the present study warrant further studies in order to confirm the association between overweight and school performance. The cross-sectional study design of this study made it impossible to establish a relation of causality between the analyzed variables.

A longitudinal study, however, would enable closer monitoring of the children's schoolwork and nutritional status, and the identification of other factors, such as a home environment providing little cognitive stimulation and an unfavorable socioeconomic-cultural setting, both of which could impact school performance.

relationship between child nutrition school outcomes

So far, it has not been possible to observe the children in their daily lives at home and the relationship with their parents, essential aspects of the investigation of the causes of student underachievement Conclusion Greater prevalence of overweight over malnutrition was found among the third-grade students of the elementary school.

A statistically significant relationship was found between poorer performance in spelling and arithmetics tasks and overweight, which suggests an adverse impact of inadequate nutritional status on school performance. Cabral AP, Tavares J.

relationship between child nutrition school outcomes

Carbohydrates also better enable the brain to absorb tryptophan, which is then turned into serotonin. As noted above, serotonin plays a critical role in helping children, as well as adults, utilize brain capabilities.

relationship between child nutrition school outcomes

Erikson also noted that certain fats are necessary, such as Omega-3, in order to keep the brain well-nourished and stave off feelings of depression and inflammation, and increase memory and mood with an increase in serotonin, which is also known for creating the feeling of pleasure. Furthermore, certain vitamins and minerals are vital to promote healthy brain growth and function.

What is the relationship between child nutrition and school outcomes?

Vitamins such as A, B, and E are antioxidants and can be found in drinks such as green tea, and Vitamin B is essential in creating energy [ 4 ]. In an article expounding the necessity of proper nutrition, Wolpert and Wheeler [ 5 ] cite UCLA professor, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, who analyzed over studies regarding the effect of food on the brain.

relationship between child nutrition school outcomes

His research focused on the role of synapses and how food can benefit the plasticity, or flexibility, of said synapses. A synapse is essentially the connection or bridge between neurons and aide in vital functions, such as learning, retention and memory. The article cites the importance of proper nutrition and highlights the dangers of too much junk food; excess caloric intake can disrupt the plasticity of the synaptic relays to neurons, and increase the chance of damage to cells by the creation of free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that play a part in aging, tissue damage, and possibly some diseases [ 5 ]. Using a cross-sectional survey, Zhang et al.

What is the relationship between child nutrition and school outcomes? (Book, ) []

The American diet is known to be high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. The surveys looked to identify fat intake with cognitive and psychosocial functioning.

The results of the surveys found that the consumption of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids PUFAs was associated with a decreased academic performance, while increasing cholesterol showed an increase in poor performance.

The researchers also stated that their report had limitations; the cross-sectionalism of the report limited them from asserting causality, the possibility of inaccurate information supplied by the mothers in an effort to appease social desirability, as well as the limitation of having created anything but rough data in only a 24 hour diet recall period [ 6 ]. As Wood [ 3 ] found through a 21 week study that followed iron levels of volunteers with borderline anemia, low iron levels in children has a direct effect on the ability to pay attention to information.

This information was used for both children with iron deficiency without anemia and children with iron deficiency with anemia. They differentiated between the two groups using a routine screening for hemoglobin levels, which indicates anemia when levels are below the amount calculated for each age group. This equates to approximately 1. The limitations of the study are similar to those of Zhang et al.

Secondly, smaller portions of available statistics for children with anemia may also have prevented the study from finding a larger association between anemia and cognitive scores. The effects of poor diet, as well as deficiencies in dietary intake, can be seen through the above studies.