Recent research has shown that there is a link between fast food and children’s poor academic growth. Previous research has shown a link between fast food to childhood obesity and other problems.
The research team from Ohio University found that among middle school students, the higher the frequency of fast food consumption in fifth grade, the lower the scores on tests in reading, math, and science tests in eighth grade. Findings were published in the December 2014 issue of Clinical Pediatrics.
Katy Purtell, an assistant professor of human sciences at Ohio State University, led the research team. They wanted to measure the link between fast food consumption and how well a child does in school. They analyzed data from 11,740 students who were part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort. The students completed a food consumption questionairre in fifth grade. The team found that only 29% of the children reported having eaten no fast food in the week before the questionnaire. 10% reported that they ate fast food every day. Another 10% reported eating fast food four to six times a week. All others reported eating it one to three times during the week before the questionnaire.
They completed tests in math, science, and reading in fifth grade, and were tested again in the eighth grade.
Results showed that children scored 20% lower on math, reading and science tests in eighth grade than those who did not eat any fast food.