A UC Berkeley study links higher test scores to healthy food, spotlighting the importance of healthy school lunches and school based nutrition programs.
A recent paper by economists showed that healthier school lunches affect student achievement as evidenced by test scores. Students enrolled at schools that have a contract with a school lunch vendor who provides healthier lunches perform better on California state tests. The option of improving scores with healthy food is cost effective when compared with other policy interventions.
“When school boards are going out and contracting with these vendors, what they’re thinking is that they’re going to improve the health of the students, that they’ll get them to eat healthier. I don’t think they’re thinking of it as a tool to actually improve academic performance [but] we found that it is,” said study co-author Michael L. Anderson, an associate professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. “Something that is basically cheap, that is going to improve student health, and that has test-score gains seems like it would be very attractive [to] policymakers.”
Pat Wyman, CEO of HowtoLearn.com and America’s Most Trusted Learning expert agrees and has written about the connection between food and learning since 1997. ” For years, I’ve watched kids who struggled in school, or those diagnosed with challenges like ADHD, get higher grades and test scores when they reduced or eliminated sugar and other harmful ingredients from their diet,” notes Wyman.
On page 12 in her worldwide goodwill book, Amazing Grades: 101 Best Ways to Improve Your Grades Faster, sponsored by Microsoft, she discusses the link between healthy food and learning more.