We’ve all heard that kids need to eat
breakfast to sustain their energy over the course of their active days. But a
Taiwanese study published in the November 2007 issue of the
Journal of
the American Dietetic Association
suggests that a healthy diet can
also improve grades in elementary-school children.

Researchers
examined the association between dietary patterns and unfavorable overall
school performance in more than 2,000 children enrolled in a nutrition and
health survey from 2001 to 2002. School performance was assessed using factors
such as the kids’ intellectual functioning, academic functioning and motivation
for school work.

At
the conclusion of the study, unfavorable overall school performance was
positively associated with unhealthful eating patterns, which included high
intake of low-quality foods, such as sweets and fried foods, along with low
intake of dairy products and nutrient-dense foods, such as vegetables, fruits
and fish.

“The study shows that
children with unfavorable overall school performance were more likely to eat
sweets and fried foods, and were less likely to eat foods rich in protein,
vitamins and minerals,” the researchers concluded.