Magazine article USA TODAY

Fast-Food Consumption Hurts JHS Grades

Magazine article USA TODAY

Fast-Food Consumption Hurts JHS Grades

Article excerpt

The amount of fast food children eat may be linked to how well they do in school, suggests a study in Clinical Pediatrics. Researchers found that the more frequently children reported eating fast food in fifth grade, the lower their growth in reading, math, and science test scores by the time they reached eighth grade. Students who ate the most fast food had test score gains that were up to about 20% lower than those who did not eat any fast food.

The results remained even after the researchers took into account a wide variety of other factors that may have explained why those with high fast-food consumption might have lower test scores, including how much they exercised, how much television they watched, what other food they ate, their family's socioeconomic status, and characteristics of their neighborhood and school. "We went as far as we could to control for and take into account all the known factors that could be involved in how well children did on these tests," explains lead author Kelly Purtell. …

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