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Concept: Elementary school


Children consume much of their daily energy intake at school. School district policies, state laws, and national policies, such as revisions to the US Department of Agriculture’s school meals standards, may affect the types of foods and beverages offered in school lunches over time.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Carbohydrate, Primary school, Primary education, School, Meal, Elementary school, Lunch


Objectives. We assessed the long-term effect of early childhood lead exposure on academic achievement in mathematics, science, and reading among elementary and junior high school children. Methods. We linked early childhood blood lead testing surveillance data from the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion to educational testing data from the Detroit, Michigan, public schools. We used the linked data to investigate the effect of early childhood lead exposure on academic achievement among school-aged children, both marginally and adjusted for grade level, gender, race, language, maternal education, and socioeconomic status. Results. High blood lead levels before age 6 years were strongly associated with poor academic achievement in grades 3, 5, and 8. The odds of scoring less than proficient for those whose blood lead levels were greater than 10 micrograms per deciliter were more than twice the odds for those whose blood lead levels were less than 1 micrograms per deciliter after adjustment for potential confounders. Conclusions. Early childhood lead exposure was negatively associated with academic achievement in elementary and junior high school, after adjusting for key potential confounders. The control of lead poisoning should focus on primary prevention of lead exposure in children and development of special education programs for students with lead poisoning. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print January 17, 2013: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301164).

Concepts: Education, Middle school, High school, College, School, Educational stages, Elementary school, Lead poisoning


Few studies have investigated the independent associations of lifestyle behaviors (diet, physical activity, sleep, and screen time) and body weight status with academic achievement. Even fewer have investigated the combined effect of these behaviors on academic achievement. We hypothesize that the combined effect of these behaviors will have a higher impact on academic achievement than any behavior alone, or that of body weight status.

Concepts: Obesity, United Kingdom, Behavior, Canada, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Elementary school, Atlantic Canada


Evidence of the positive effects of school physical activity (PA) interventions, including classroom-based PA (CBPA), is rapidly growing. However, few studies examine how variations in scheduled PA opportunities and teacher-implemented CBPA affect students' PA outcomes.

Concepts: School terminology, Education, Affect, Primary school, Primary education, Elementary school


Children do not eat enough servings of vegetables, underscoring the need for effective interventions encouraging this behavior. The purpose of this research was to measure the impact that daily exposure to branded vegetable characters has on vegetable selection among boys and girls in elementary schools.

Concepts: Primary school, Primary education, School, Elementary school, Cafeteria


To measure changes in body mass index (BMI) percentiles among third- and fourth-grade students in stand-biased classrooms and traditional seated classrooms in 3 Texas elementary schools.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Mass, Body mass index, Primary school, Primary education, Body shape, Elementary school


Physical activity (PA) remains the primary behavioral outcome associated with school recess, while many other potentially relevant indicators of recess remain unexamined. Few studies have assessed observations of teacher/student interactions, peer conflict, social interactions, or safety within the recess environment. Furthermore, a psychometrically-sound instrument does not exist to examine safety, resources, student engagement, adult engagement, pro-social/anti-social behavior, and student empowerment on the playground. The purpose of the current study was to develop a valid, and reliable, assessment tool intended for use in measurement of the contextual factors associated with recess.

Concepts: Psychology, School terminology, Sociology, Behavior, Primary school, Primary education, Social relation, Elementary school


Child outcomes due to a paid professional mentoring program, Friends of the Children (FOTC), were investigated across the first 5 years of an ongoing multi-site randomized controlled trial. Participants were 278 children attending kindergarten or first grade who were identified as “at risk” for adjustment problems during adolescence. The program was delivered through established nonprofit community-based organizations. Mentors were hired to work full time and were provided training, supervision, and support to work individually with small numbers of children. Recruitment took place across a 3-year period. Random assignment to the intervention condition or a services as usual control condition was conducted at the level of the individual, blocking on school and child sex. After the initial assessment, follow-up assessments were conducted every 6 months. Differences in growth curves across the elementary school years were examined in intent-to-treat analyses. Significant effects favoring FOTC were found in terms of caregiver ratings of positive school behavior and less trouble in school, with a trend for higher child behavioral and emotional strengths. Effect sizes were in the range typical in recent trials of youth mentoring.

Concepts: Experimental design, Randomized controlled trial, Childhood, Puberty, Primary education, Elementary school, Youth mentoring, Mentorship


Extraverted children are hypothesized to be most at risk for over-serving and overeating due to environmental cues - such as the size of dinnerware. A within-subject field study of elementary school students found that extraverted children served themselves 33.1% more cereal in larger bowls (16-oz) than in smaller (12-oz) bowls, whereas introverted children were unaffected by bowl size (+5.6%, ns). However, when children were asked by adults how much cereal they wanted to eat, both extraverted and introverted children requested more cereal when given a large versus small bowl. Insofar as extraverted children appear to be more biased by environmental cues, this pilot study suggests different serving styles are recommended for parents and other caregivers. They should serve extraverts, but allow introverts to serve themselves. Still, since the average child still served 23.2% more when serving themselves than when served by an adult, it might be best for caregivers to do the serving whenever possible - especially for extraverted children.

Concepts: Observation, Child, Adult, Elementary school, Bowls, Extraversion and introversion, Bowl


Objectives. We determined the impact of Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) on the percentage of children going without morning food, number of locations where food was consumed, and estimated calories consumed per child. Methods. We used a cross-sectional survey of morning food consumed among elementary school students offered BIC and not offered BIC in geographically matched high-poverty-neighborhood elementary schools. Results. Students offered BIC (n = 1044) were less likely to report not eating in the morning (8.7%) than were students not offered BIC (n = 1245; 15.0%) and were more likely to report eating in 2 or more locations during the morning (51.1% vs 30%). Overall, students offered BIC reported consuming an estimated 95 more calories per morning than did students not offered BIC. Conclusions. For every student for whom BIC resolved the problem of starting school with nothing to eat, more than 3 students ate in more than 1 location. Offering BIC reduced the percentage of students not eating in the morning but may contribute to excess calorie intake. More evaluation of BIC’s impact on overweight and obesity is needed before more widespread implementation. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print August 15, 2013: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301470).

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Eating, Primary school, Primary education, Elementary school