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For better NAPLAN results... eat all of your veggies

A recent study has found that a greater consumption of vegetables with the evening meal was associated with higher test scores in the domains of spelling and writing.

Assoc Prof Tracy Burrows from University of Newcastle conducted secondary analysis in her report Associations between selected dietary behaviours and academic achievement: A study of Australian school aged children to examine associations between a range of dietary behaviours and children's academic achievement. Previously studies had focused more on breakfast consumption.

Data on five dietary variables (fruit intake; vegetable intake; consumption of takeaway; sugar sweetened beverages; and breakfast) and scores in the five domains of NAPLAN (reading, writing, grammar/punctuation, spelling and numeracy) were obtained for Australian children aged eight to 15 years in school grades three, five, seven  and nine.

Analysis was adjusted to avoid the possibility that socioeconomic status and gender may impact the results.

The results showed that a greater consumption of vegetables with the evening meal, 7 nights a week, was associated with higher test scores in the domains of spelling and writing, with the greatest effect in spelling. 


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