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Review

The Effects of Nutritional Interventions on the Cognitive Development of Preschool-Age Children: A Systematic Review

1
Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39762, USA
2
Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39762, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Silvia Scaglioni, Alessandra Mazzocchi and Valentina De Cosmi
Nutrients 2022, 14(3), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030532
Received: 19 December 2021 / Revised: 20 January 2022 / Accepted: 21 January 2022 / Published: 26 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Habits and Interventions in Childhood)
The developing human brain requires all essential nutrients to form and to maintain its structure. Infant and child cognitive development is dependent on adequate nutrition. Children who do not receive sufficient nutrition are at high risk of exhibiting impaired cognitive skills. This systematic review aimed to examine the effects of nutritional interventions on cognitive outcomes of preschool-age children. PubMed, PsycInfo, Academic Search Complete, and Cochrane Library electronic databases were searched to identify Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) published after the year 2000. Studies assessing the effects of food-based, single, and multiple micronutrient interventions on the cognition of nourished and undernourished children aged 2–6 years were deemed eligible. A total of 12 trials were identified. Eight out of the twelve studies found significant positive effects on cognitive outcomes. Iron and multiple-micronutrients supplementation yield improvements in the cognitive abilities of undernourished preschool-age children. Increased fish consumption was found to have a beneficial effect in the cognitive outcomes of nourished children. On the other hand, B-vitamin, iodized salt, and guava powder interventions failed to display significant results. Findings of this review highlight the importance of adequate nutrition during preschool years, and the crucial role sufficient nutrition plays in cognitive development. View Full-Text
Keywords: child development; cognition; preschool; nutrition child development; cognition; preschool; nutrition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Roberts, M.; Tolar-Peterson, T.; Reynolds, A.; Wall, C.; Reeder, N.; Rico Mendez, G. The Effects of Nutritional Interventions on the Cognitive Development of Preschool-Age Children: A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2022, 14, 532. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030532

AMA Style

Roberts M, Tolar-Peterson T, Reynolds A, Wall C, Reeder N, Rico Mendez G. The Effects of Nutritional Interventions on the Cognitive Development of Preschool-Age Children: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2022; 14(3):532. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030532

Chicago/Turabian Style

Roberts, Marina, Terezie Tolar-Peterson, Abby Reynolds, Caitlin Wall, Nicole Reeder, and Gina Rico Mendez. 2022. "The Effects of Nutritional Interventions on the Cognitive Development of Preschool-Age Children: A Systematic Review" Nutrients 14, no. 3: 532. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030532

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