Healthy diets boost reading skills
A recent study has found that consuming a healthy diet is linked to better reading skills at school. This is the conclusion of a study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyväsklä. The study involved 161 children aged between 6 and 8, and diets were assessed with food diaries compared to the Baltic Sea Diet and Finnish nutrition recommendations. The findings showed that those whose diets were ‘healthier’ did better in standardised tests that measured reading skills. Furthermore, those with a better diet quality improved their reading skills more than their peers on a worse diet.
One of the authors of the study Dr Eero Haapala explained that the associations between diet quality and reading skills were also independent of many compounding factors such as socio-economic status, physical activity and fitness. With an improved availability of healthy foods the authors are hoping that improved diet quality will follow, leading to increased academic performances in school.