Ohio State University study: Fast food linked to lower test scores in 8th graders

3 Jan

Patti Neighmond reported in the NPR story, It Takes More Than A Produce Aisle To Refresh A Food Desert:

“The next part of the intervention is to create demand,” he says, “so the community wants to come to the store and buy healthy fruits and vegetables and go home and prepare those foods in a healthy way, without lots of fat, salt or sugar.”
Ortega directs a UCLA project that converts corner stores into hubs of healthy fare in low-income neighborhoods of East Los Angeles. He and colleagues work with community leaders and local high school students to help create that demand for nutritious food. Posters and signs promoting fresh fruits and vegetables hang in corner stores, such as the Euclid Market in Boyle Heights, and at bus stops. There are nutrition education classes in local schools, and cooking classes in the stores themselves….
The jury’s still out on whether these conversions of corner stores are actually changing people’s diets and health. The evidence is still being collected. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/10/273046077/takes-more-than-a-produce-aisle-to-refresh-a-food-desert

In other words, much of the obesity problem is due to personal life style choices and the question is whether government can or should regulate those choices. The issue is helping folk to want to make healthier food choices even on a food stamp budget. See, Cheap Eats: Cookbook Shows How To Eat Well On A Food Stamp Budget http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/08/01/337141837/cheap-eats-cookbook-shows-how-to-eat-well-on-a-food-stamp-budget    A University of Buffalo study reports that what a baby eats depends on the social class of the mother. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/04/the-stark-difference-between-what-poor-babies-and-rich-babies-eat/

Science Daily reported in Fast-food consumption linked to lower test score gains in 8th graders:

The amount of fast food children eat may be linked to how well they do in school, a new nationwide study suggests.

Researchers found that the more frequently children reported eating fast food in fifth grade, the lower their growth in reading, math, and science test scores by the time they reached eighth grade.

Students who ate the most fast food had test score gains that were up to about 20 percent lower than those who didn’t eat any fast food, said Kelly Purtell, lead author of the study and assistant professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University.

“There’s a lot of evidence that fast-food consumption is linked to childhood obesity, but the problems don’t end there,” Purtell said. “Relying too much on fast food could hurt how well children do in the classroom.”

The results remained even after the researchers took into account a wide variety of other factors that may have explained why those with high fast-food consumption might have lower test scores, including how much they exercised, how much television they watched, what other food they ate, their family’s socioeconomic status and characteristics of their neighborhood and school…..

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141222111605.htm

Citation:

Fast-food consumption linked to lower test score gains in 8th graders

Date:           December 22, 2014

Source:       Ohio State University

Summary:

The amount of fast food children eat may be linked to how well they do in school, a new America-wide study suggests. This study can’t say why fast-food consumption is linked to lower grades, but other studies have shown that fast food lacks certain nutrients, especially iron, that help cognitive development. In addition, diets high in fat and sugar — similar to fast-food meals — have been shown to hurt immediate memory and learning processes.

Fast Food Consumption and Academic Growth in Late Childhood

  1. Kelly M. Purtell, PhD1
  2. Elizabeth T. Gershoff, PhD2

1.     1The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA 2.     2The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA

  1. Kelly M. Purtell, Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, 1787 Neil Avenue, Columbus OH 43215, USA. Email:purtell.15@osu.edu

Abstract

Objective. The objective of this study is to examine the associations between fast food consumption and the academic growth of 8544 fifth-grade children in reading, math, and science. Method. This study uses direct assessments of academic achievement and child-reported fast food consumption from a nationally representative sample of kindergartners followed through eighth grade. Results. More than two thirds of the sample reported some fast food consumption; 20% reported consuming at least 4 fast food meals in the prior week. Fast food consumption during fifth grade predicted lower levels of academic achievement in all 3 subjects in eighth grade, even when fifth grade academic scores and numerous potential confounding variables, including socioeconomic indicators, physical activity, and TV watching, were controlled for in the models. Conclusion. These results provide initial evidence that high levels of fast food consumption are predictive of slower growth in academic skills in a nationally representative sample of children.

Here is the press release from Ohio State University:

Fast-Food Consumption Linked to Lower Test Score Gains in 8th Graders

The more children ate in 5th grade, the slower their academic growth by 8th grade

By: Jeff Grabmeier

Published on December 22, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The amount of fast food children eat may be linked to how well they do in school, a new nationwide study suggests.

Researchers found that the more frequently children reported eating fast food in fifth grade, the lower their growth in reading, math, and science test scores by the time they reached eighth grade.

Students who ate the most fast food had test score gains that were up to about 20 percent lower than those who didn’t eat any fast food, said Kelly Purtell, lead author of the study and assistant professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University.

“There’s a lot of evidence that fast-food consumption is linked to childhood obesity, but the problems don’t end there,” Purtell said. “Relying too much on fast food could hurt how well children do in the classroom.”

The results remained even after the researchers took into account a wide variety of other factors that may have explained why those with high fast-food consumption might have lower test scores, including how much they exercised, how much television they watched, what other food they ate, their family’s socioeconomic status and characteristics of their neighborhood and school.

Purtell conducted the study with Elizabeth Gershoff, associate professor of human ecology at the University of Texas at Austin. The results are published online in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.

Data from the study came from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort, a nationally representative study of students who were in kindergarten in the 1998-1999 school year. It was collected by the National Center for Educational Statistics.

This study included about 11,740 students. They were tested in reading/literacy, mathematics and science in both fifth and eighth grades. They also completed a food consumption questionnaire in fifth grade.

“Fast-food consumption was quite high in these students,” Purtell said.

Less than a third (29 percent) of the children did not have any fast food during the week before they completed the questionnaire. But 10 percent reported having fast food every day while another 10 percent ate it four to six times a week. Slightly more than half of the children ate fast food one to three times in the previous week.

[KP1] Children who ate fast food four to six times per week or every day showed significantly lower gains in all three achievement areas compared to children who did not eat any fast food the week before the survey.

However, children who ate fast food just one to three times a week had lower academic growth compared to non-eaters in only one subject, math.

“We’re not saying that parents should never feed their children fast food, but these results suggest fast-food consumption should be limited as much as possible,” said Purtell.

Purtell emphasized that this study cannot prove that fast-food consumption caused the lower academic growth observed in this study. However, by controlling for other possible explanations for this link, such as family background and what other food they ate, and by looking at change in achievement scores, the authors are confident fast food is explaining some of the difference in achievement gains over time.

In addition, because the study examined only changes in test scores between fifth and eighth grade it controls for all the early childhood factors that may affect test grades.

This study can’t say why fast-food consumption is linked to lower grades, she said. But other studies have shown that fast food lacks certain nutrients, especially iron, that help cognitive development. In addition, diets high in fat and sugar – similar to fast-food meals – have been shown to hurt immediate memory and learning processes.

The research was supported by grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.                                                                                      http://news.osu.edu/news/2014/12/22/fast-food-consumption-linked-to-lower-test-score-gains-in-8th-graders/

Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of society’s problems would be lessened if the goal was:

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Related:

School dinner programs: Trying to reduce the number of hungry children               https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/school-dinner-programs-trying-to-reduce-the-number-of-hungry-children/

School lunches: The political hot potato                                                                            https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/school-lunches-the-political-hot-potato/

The government that money buys: School lunch cave in by Congress https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/the-government-that-money-buys-school-lunch-cave-in-by-congress/

Do kids get enough time to eat lunch?                                                        https://drwilda.com/2012/08/28/do-kids-get-enough-time-to-eat-lunch/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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