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Health Educ Res. 2017 Feb 1;32(1):48-57. doi: 10.1093/her/cyw057.

Association between dietary intake and 'school-valued' outcomes: a scoping review.

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School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
Healthy Kids Association, Suite 104, 16-18 Cambridge St, Epping, NSW 2121, Australia.


Approximately one in four Australian children aged 5-17 years are overweight or obese. Most of the health effects of overweight and obesity in childhood do not eventuate until into adulthood; therefore, motivation for children to have a healthy diet may be low. This scoping review examined the literature for associations between diet quality in 5-18 year olds and 'school-valued' outcomes including student attendance, academic performance, behaviour at school and mental health. A literature search for studies that assessed dietary intake and at least one 'school-valued' outcome in schoolchildren, in highly developed countries was conducted. After applying selection criteria, 35 studies were included examining academic performance (46%), behaviour (11%), mental health (31%) and 11% examining two of these outcomes each. No relevant studies addressed attendance. In general, dietary factors including consumption of fruit and vegetables, discretionary foods and/or beverages, or overall diet quality, were suggested to be correlates of the 'school-valued' outcomes. However, the evidence is not comprehensive. This review elucidates the extent and nature of available literature, and provides a basis for future research where the potential benefits of diet on 'school-valued' outcomes can be thoroughly explored.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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