Collier and Lee Counties Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Nutrition Improves Children’s Learning Potential and School Performance

According to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) good nutrition influences student learning potential and school performance. Existing data suggests that with better nutrition students are better able to learn, have fewer absences and their behavior improves, causing fewer classroom disruptions.

Several studies indicate in the NIFA publication Three Ways Nutrition Influences Student Learning and Potential School Performance that nutritional status directly affects mental capacity among school-aged children. For example, iron deficiency, even in early stages, can decrease dopamine transmission, thus negatively impacting cognition. Deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals, specifically thiamine, vitamin E, vitamin B, iodine and zinc are shown to inhibit cognitive abilities and mental concentration. Additionally, amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation can improve perception, intuition and reasoning.

Other studies show that malnutrition leads to behavior problems, and that sugar has a negative impact on a child’s behavior. However, these effects can be counteracted when children consume a balanced diet that includes protein, fat, complex carbohydrates, and fiber.

Sociologists and economists have looked more closely at the impact of a student’s diet and nutrition on academic and behavioral outcomes. Researchers have found that a higher-quality diet is associated with better performance on exams and that programs focused on increasing students’ health also show modest improvements in their academic test scores.


Evie Breedlove-Mangapora is a board certified nurse practitioner who practices and offers nutritional consultations at Well Bridges, located at 9200 Bonita Beach Rd., Ste. 113, in Bonita Springs. For more information call 239-777-4647 or visit InnerEssenceHealth.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Shedding Holiday Pounds

Southwest Floridians are finding that dancing can play a serious role in weight loss.

Barre Fusion Offers Free Pilates Demo Class and Discounts

The Barre Fusion Pilates Studio, in Naples, is kicking off the New Year with a free Pilates Power Reformer demonstration class from noon to 1 p.m., January 9.

Di Palma Opens Dental Practice in Naples

Specializing in providing discount braces for adults, Dr. Dennis Di Palma is offering a free initial consultation for new clients.

12 Powers of Soul Lessons at Unity of Fort Myers

Reverend Clive deLaporte, the new minister and spiritual leader at Unity of Fort Myers, will begin a series of lessons this month on The 12 Powers of the Soul.

Hohle to Speak on Improving Time Management

Dave Hohle, a Christian Science practitioner, teacher and international speaker from Chicago, will present Time is Not a Factor in Your Life, a free talk about gaining freedom from the limitations of time concerns.