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Professional Article Analysis - Diet Quality and Academic Performance Steve Klasnic Seton Hill University


1. Florence, M. D., Asbridge, M., & Veugelers, P. J. (2008). Diet quality and academic performance. Journal of School Health, 78, 209-214. doi: 10.1111/j.17461561.2008.00288.x 2. Zhang, W., Li, P., Hu, X., Zhang, F., Chen, J., & Gao, Y. (2011). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain: metabolism and neuroprotection. Frontiers In Bioscience: A Journal And Virtual Library. Yu, H., Bi, Y., Ma, W., He, L., Yuan, L., Feng, J., & Xiao, R. (2010). Long-term effects of high lipid and high energy diet on serum lipid, brain fatty acid composition, and memory and learning ability in mice. International Journal Of Developmental Neuroscience: The Official Journal Of The International Society For Developmental Neuroscience, 28, 271276. 3. This article was chosen based on an interest in the manner in which nutrition can aid in bettering academic performance. This interest in improving academic performance is dualfaceted, from the perspective of a current student as well as a future educator. 4. The target audience for the article is professionals who have direct impact on the general nutrition of school-aged children. 5. The target audience for the Journal of School Health is professionals who impact the health and well-being of school-aged children. 6. Michelle D. Florence is a graduate student at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada who currently holds a MS in Community Health. Mark Asbridge is an associate professor at Dalhousie University who currently holds a PhD in Community Health. Paul J. Veugelers is a tenured professor at Dalhousie University who holds a PhD in Public Health. 7. The article relates directly to both Food Science and the Dietetics and Nutrition major. The article details methods of dietetic change that could potentially enhance quality of academic performance. 8. a. Micronutrients- dietary minerals needed by the human body in very small quantities, (generally less than 100mg/day), as opposed to macronutrients which are required in larger quantities. b. Empty calorie foods- foods high in calories, but low in nutritional value. c. Malnutrition- condition that occurs when the body does not intake the proper amount of nutrients. d. Diet Quality Index- provides an effective tool for cross-national comparison of diet quality. e. Dichotomous variable- variable that categorizes data into two groups such as obese vs not obese f. Diet adequacy - diet that supports nutritional needs and should feature diverse foods, few restrictions, portion control and exercise. g. Food frequency questionnaire - a common method used to assess individual long-term dietary intake of foods and nutrients. 9. The main weakness of this article is failure to delve deep enough into the topic, thus disabling the provision of a thorough learning experience. 10. The main strengths of this article are that it is organized, presents valid points, and is easily able to be understood by the target audience.

PROFESSIONAL ARTICLE ANALYSIS - DIET QUALITY AND Summary Literacy suffers in fifth grade school children affected by poor nutrition, according to research conducted in this article. The researchers compared literacy test scores of 5,200 Nova Scotia, Canada, students to their height, weight, demographics and diet. Nutritional quality for each student was assessed on the widely accepted Diet Quality Index International scale. The Elementary Literacy Assessment was then used to assess academic performance. This included having students read a variety of materials and answer written questions based on the texts. Fruit and vegetable consumption as well as dietary fat intake were found to play an

important role in children's academic performance, highlighting the need for balanced diets at an early age. Using a food frequency questionnaire, the researchers calculated each student's intake of foods from recommended food groups as well as energy and nutrient intakes. The results of the study documented a direct correlation between poor nutrition and poor literacy. They found that students reporting increased diet quality were significantly less likely to fail the literacy assessment. In particular, students with an increased fruit and vegetable intake and lower caloric intake of fat were significantly less likely to fail the assessment. Dietary fat intake was demonstrated as important to academic performance. The effect was stronger for boys than girls, and for poor children than for wealthy children. The findings of this study are just one more reason to improve children's diets both at home, and at school. Not only will improved diet provide a healthier future for children physically, but it will also provide a better future academically.