Food and Behaviour Research

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Fast Food Consumption and Academic Growth in Late Childhood.

Purtell KM, Gershoff ET (2014) Clin Pediatr (Phila).   pii: 0009922814561742. [Epub ahead of print] 

Web URL: Read the abstract and find related research on PubMed here

Abstract:

The objective of this study is to examine the associations between fast food consumption and the academic growth of 8544 fifth-grade children in reading, math, and science. Method. This study uses direct assessments of academic achievement and child-reported fast foodconsumption from a nationally representative sample of kindergartners followed through eighth grade. Results. More than two thirds of the sample reported some fast food consumption; 20% reported consuming at least 4 fast food meals in the prior week. Fast food consumption during fifth grade predicted lower levels of academic achievement in all 3 subjects in eighth grade, even when fifth grade academic scores and numerous potential confounding variables, including socioeconomic indicators, physical activity, and TV watching, were controlled for in the models. Conclusion. These results provide initial evidence that high levels of fast food consumption are predictive of slower growth in academic skills in a nationally representative sample of children.