A balanced diet, reading, and participation in sports can all help children develop and improve their reasoning skills. According to a recent study, greater overall diet quality and reduced consumption of red meat, as well as increased time spent reading and participating in organized sports, improved reasoning skills in children throughout their first two years of school.
Reasoning abilities are essential for learning, academic success, and everyday problem solving. According to a recent study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland, improved overall diet quality and reduced red meat consumption, as well as increased time spent reading and participating in organized activities, improved reasoning skills in children throughout their first two school years.
“Children with healthier eating habits showed greater cognitive development than other children. Specifically, better overall diet quality, lower red meat consumption, and higher low-fat dairy product intake were linked to better reasoning skills,” says Doctoral Researcher Sehrish Naveed of the University of Eastern Finland.
Children with healthier eating habits showed greater cognitive development than other children. Specifically, better overall diet quality, lower red meat consumption, and higher low-fat dairy product intake were linked to better reasoning skills.Sehrish Naveed
Children who spent more time reading and participating in organized sports performed better in reasoning tests than their peers. Excessive computer use and unsupervised leisure-time physical activity, on the other hand, were linked to weaker thinking skills. Screen time, active school transportation, recess physical activity, and intensity of physical activity were not related to thinking skills.
More than half of the children took part in a two-year family-based and individually tailored food and physical activity intervention. The intervention, however, had no effect on reasoning skills, with children in the intervention and control groups displaying identical cognitive development.
“In the lives of growing children, diet and physical activity intervention is just one factor influencing lifestyle and reasoning skills. Based on our study, investing in a healthy diet and encouraging children to read are beneficial for the development of reasoning skills among children. Additionally, engaging in organised sports appears to support reasoning skills,” Dr Eero Haapala points out.
The findings of this study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, are based on data from the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children (PANIC) study. The effects of a two-year nutrition and physical activity intervention on cognition in 397 Finnish primary school students were investigated in this sub-study.
Over a two-year period, the correlations of dietary variables, physical activity, and sedentary behavior with cognition were also investigated. The studies took into account parental education and income, as well as the children’s body fat percentage and maturity level.