Research Update – Healthy food and academic performance

An April 2010 article in the American Journal of Public Health examined the relationship between a school-based obesity prevention program and academic performance. The study evaluated the effects of the HOPS program on 1,197 students who qualified for free and reduced lunch. HOPS (Healthier Options for Public Schoolchildren) included a dietary component that provided students with healthier school food options. Physical activity was also a part of the intervention.

Results indicated that students participating in HOPS performed better on math tests than students in the control group. Although this difference cannot be attributed directly to the HOPS program, these results add to the growing bulk of evidence that connects healthy eating to physical and mental performance.

 

Source: Hollar, et al. (2010). Effect of a two year obesity prevention intervention on percentile changes in body mass index and academic performance in low-income elementary school children. The American Journal of Public Health, 100(4), 646-653.

Interesting Wednesday Tidbits

  • The Political Economy Research Institute released a case study of transportation infrastructure development in Baltimore. Their finding? Pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects create 4 to 5  more jobs per $1 million spent than road projects. Another reason to invest in bikes and active transport!
  • study by the Society of Actuaries published new figures estimating the cost of obesity and overweight. Their number: $300 BILLION.
  • Marion Nestle has written a couple of great articles recently. See this Atlantic piece for a summary on the new school food nutritional standards and her blog post about front-of-package labeling and the dietary quality of supposedly ‘healthier’ kids products.

Also – on a side note: As I progress in planning the School Food Tour I find that I am acquiring exciting new skills that I did not anticipate learning. Such as how to create a website. Cool!