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Posts Tagged ‘NAPLAN’

An adage long shared within my family is

You are what you eat!”

So reading how academic performance is higher in those students who regularly eat fruit and vegies comes as no surprise to me!

An article by Henrietta Cook in last Sunday’s Age: Eating vegetables linked to higher NAPLAN scores ….. highlights a family who are growing up with a real sense of the value of eating well.  Both at home, where their mother regularly serves up healthy vegetable based meals, and at school where the children have gained an insight into the importance of food by participating in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program run in their primary school – Auburn South Primary  – eating ‘healthy’ is a given and, says their mother, her children’s school performance is well above average.

Although I’ve not been able to locate the research paper referred to in this article (unfortunately details are not documented), an online search turns up an abstract of an article to be published on September 1 by Appetite: Associations between selected dietary behaviours and academic achievement: A study of Australian school aged children.

Based on results of this study:

Greater consumption of vegetables with the evening meal (7 nights/week) was associated with higher test scores in the domains of spelling and writing (p=<0.01), with the greatest effect observed for spelling with a mean score difference of 86 ± 26.5 NAPLAN points between the highest and lowest levels of consumption (95% CI: 34.0-138.1; p=<0.01). Increased consumption of sugar sweetened beverages was associated with significantly lower test scores in reading, writing, grammar/punctuation and numeracy (<0.01).

It is concluded that:

The findings of this study demonstrate dietary behaviours are associated with higher academic achievement.”

This short abstract is enough to convince me that there is merit to the notion that good nutrition based around the increased regular consumption of fruit and vegetables by children is a very worthy research topic.

Meantime, the notion of putting a bowl of fruit – regularly replenished – onto the circulation desk in our library is more than a fleeting thought.

I wonder if …..

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