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Author: 1DEG Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 886530  
Subject: Re: Students On Strike Against Nanny State Date: 10/8/2012 12:29 PM
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Look, a school's mission is to educate. There are numerous studies that show that nutrition affects neural development. Adequate nutrients are needed in order to form the connections required for learning to take place. While many people think malnutrition means a lack of adequate food, it actually means a lack of adequate nutrients. It is therefore possible, and not uncommon in America, for a person to be both overweight and malnourished because they eat too many calories that do not contain adequate levels of needed nutrients. Children who are malnourished cannot learn as well.

Second, eating food high in refined carbohydrates causes an increase in post-prandial shunt, which impairs a person's ability to learn after eating. The amount of time it impairs ability will vary depending on what was eaten, but if a child eats a lunch high in refined carbohydrates, he will not learn as well following lunch.

Further studies show that children with a history of learning and behavior difficulties often improve when given supplementation to remedy nutrient gaps in their diet. These effects are more robust in populations of children of lower SES, likely because the food they are getting at home also lacks nutrients, whereas children of middle or high SES families likely get adequate nutrition at home. So providing healthy foods which are nutrient dense can help reduce adverse behaviors that hamper learning for not only the child affected, but for the entire class because the teacher's attention is no longer being diverted by that child.

If a school is going to provide food, it should do so with it's primary mission, educating children, in mind. Providing food that reduces the brain's ability to retain information both immediately due to post-prandial shunt and over the long run due to a lack of nutrients is not in keeping with a school's mission. This is not up for opinion. There is a mountain of evidence supporting the link between nutrients and learning. This is not about wanting to control people, or being a nanny state, but rather about working to fulfill the primary mission of a school in all functions of the school.

DEG
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