To Your Health
September, 2023 (Vol. 17, Issue 09)
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Give Kids a Head Start

By Editorial Staff

Brain health is critical to a long, fulfilling life, which is why learning what you can do to promote a healthy brain is never a bad thing. There are countless ways we can all promote brain health, no matter how young or old we are, but this article relates specifically to elementary-school students and their ability to develop cognitive skills.

Three specific areas of emphasis appear to have a positive effect on young children's cognitive development.

The two-year study in question involved children ages 6–9 years at inception. Researchers discovered that certain lifestyle behaviors had a positive impact on cognitive skills, with better overall diet quality (including lower red meat consumption and higher low-fat dairy product consumption), reading and organized sports participation associated with better cognition. Findings appear in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports and are based on data drawn from thePhysical Activity and Nutrition in Children study.

Better diet, more reading and organized sports – now that isn't impossible, is it? You're probably thinking, with so much processed food and social media distractions, and organized sports becoming increasingly expensive, it's almost impossible! It may be challenging, but it's not unattainable – and certainly worth it, if you consider not only these study findings, but also the vast evidence from other studies suggesting diet, exercise – and yes, reading – are beneficial for health and wellness. Give your kids the head start they deserve.