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.

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