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Dietary inflammatory index and academic performance in children

  • Irene Esteban-Cornejo (a1) (a2), Jorge Mota (a3), Sandra Abreu (a3), Andreia N Pizarro (a3) and Maria Paula Santos (a3)...

The main aim of the present study was to examine the association between the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII®) and academic performance in children.


School-based cross-sectional study. The DII was calculated based on dietary information obtained from a single 24h dietary recall. Academic performance was assessed by school records provided by the administrative services (i.e. Maths and Language).


Porto area (Portugal).


A total of 524 children (277 girls) aged 11·56 (sd 0·86) years.


The DII was associated with academic indicators (standardized β values ranging from −0·121 to −0·087; all P<0·05). Significant differences were found between quartiles of the DII (P<0·05); children in the fourth quartile had significantly lower scores in all academic indicators compared with children in the first quartile (score differences ranging from −0·377 to −0·292) after adjustment for potential confounders.


The inflammatory potential of diet may negatively influence academic performance. Children should avoid the consumption of a pro-inflammatory diet and adhere to a more anti-inflammatory diet to achieve academic benefits.

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Public Health Nutrition
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