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Do Good Diet and Good Grades Go Together?

When healthy foods are an everyday part of kids' diets, it's not just their bodies that may benefit -- kids who eat nutritious foods on a regular basis might actually do better in school, too, suggests a new study.

After looking at surveys about the eating habits of more than 5,000 fifth-graders in Canada, researchers gave each child a standardized literacy assessment. What they found: Students who ate more fruits and veggies and less fat were much less likely to fail the test, whereas those whose overall diet was poor (and filled with salt and saturated fat) were much more apt to do badly.

But it's hard to separate the possible effects of diet from other things that may affect kids' academic performance. For example, kids who went to better schools, had affluent families, or lived in wealthy neighborhoods tended to perform better on the tests, too.

So, it's important to keep in mind that it might not be that eating better gave the kids an academic boost at all. It could be, for example, that parents who regularly feed their children healthy foods may also be more likely to spend extra quality time with their kids -- having fun together and stimulating their learning -- which can have a significant effect on kids' success in school.

What This Means to You

Getting kids, from infancy through adolescence, to favor wholesome fare over junk food often boils down to creating a healthy lifestyle from the get-go and maintaining a family outlook on eating well and actually enjoying it.
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Categories: Children's Health, Health & Wellness,

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