Nutrition’s Impact on Educational Outcomes

How much of a role do nutrition and health play on a child’s academic success? Nutrition is actually a vital piece of the brain development puzzle. Providing and promoting healthy foods makes a difference in children’s educational outcomes.

Some of the most influential research findings to support this claim come from the Carolina Abecedarian Project, a study of more than 100 low income children that began in 1971 and followed participants through age 40. Children in the study who attended a daycare from birth to age 5 that served two healthy meals and a snack daily and provided medical care on-site had drastically higher achievements—sustained over time—than their counterparts in other settings. The children who received wellness care and healthy meals were:

  • Less likely to fail or repeat a grade in school
  • 4 times more likely to graduate from college
  • More than 4 times more likely to hold a skilled job

For more findings from this groundbreaking study, visit

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