Want kids to learn well? Feed them well | Sam Kass (Deconstruction)

Sam Kass is a chef and food policy maker whose family members and relatives mainly comprise teachers. Sam In his Ted speech claims that feeding children well leads to better educational attainments. Relying on the examples of his colleagues life experience and research study results he explains how school nutrition programs improved overall educational outcomes of children.

Sam Kass raises an important question of the correlation between child’s growing mind and their growing body. At the beginning of the speech the presenter mentions excessive consumption of sugar and  lack of nutrients in children’s diets. He also suggests that hunger and non nutrient food makes pupils think about food while learning.

To support his claims he provides the results of multiple studies. The first evidence is shown on the example of a girl he calls Allison who goes to a school that provides a nutritious breakfast with fruit and milk and lower sugar and salt. He says Allison in this case will have lower rate of obesity, less nurse visits, better behavior, less anxiety, better attendance and less tardiness in contrast to average school kid. Furthermore, Sam provides an opposite example of Tommy who is 12 as well as Allison. In case of Tommy there is no nutritious breakfast which raises the probability of repeated low academic performance and poor cognitive function throughout the kindergarten and school grades.

Another evidence provided by the presenter is about the program (Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010) which ensured breakfast and lunch to every kid in a school for free. The schools implemented this program registered an increase in math and reading scores by 17.5%. Sam also emphasizes the result of study which suggests that kids having a consistent and nutritious breakfast increase their chances of graduating by 20%.

Regarding the life experience of his colleagues, Sam narrates the case of Burke County school, one of the poorest district in Georgia. School nutrition director of the Burke County established new nutrition standards providing breakfast full of fruits and vegetables and implementing dinner program. The latter program was due to the absence of dinner for kids at home since they live at or below the line of poverty. As a result, kids reported positive responses on the program. However, the most important outcome he says was the breakthrough of the school football team in the state championship the coach of which credited that championship victory to the initiator of the food program at school.

Personally, I agree with the statement of the Sam Kass and believe that nutrition is one of the key factors to succeed in education since brain is the biggest energy consumer in human body. Moreover, I liked the way he presented his evidence and arguments. For instance, he illustrated boring numbers of study results in the form of characters, average schoolchildren to represent the benefits or and disadvantages of having or missing breakfast.

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