Investigators from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rutgers University to Study Impact of Daily Vitamins on the Academic Performance of At-Risk Children
Murrieta, CA – The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) has been awarded the research contract to conduct The Healthy Foundation’s Better Student Research Initiative™, a research study mandated by Congress to determine if daily vitamins improve the academic performance of at-risk children.
Adam Perlman, MD, Executive Director of the Institute of Complementary & Alternative Medicine, housed in the UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions, will serve as principal investigator of the study. “We are pleased to be conducting a study that has such important public health implications for the well-being of our nation’s children. We also welcome the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues at Rutgers.”
The research team from Rutgers University serving as co-investigators are John Worobey, PhD and Daniel Hoffman, PhD, both from Department of Nutritional Sciences, and Jeffrey Smith, PhD, from the Department of Educational Psychology. In addition to Dr. Perlman, the UMDNJ research team includes Julie O'Sullivan Maillet, PhD, RD, and Riva Touger-Decker, PhD, RD, both members of the clinical nutrition faculty.
Tishcon Corp., a project partner in this important initiative has generously donated the multi-vitamins as well as the placebos for this study. United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) has donated the testing of the vitamins and placebos for purity and content.
In this double-blind study, 1,500 fourth-grade students will be randomly selected from an urban school district in New Jersey. From December 2003 through May 2004, the students will receive either a daily placebo or vitamins. At the end of the study, the state's standardized test will be administered to the students. In addition, changes in grade point averages, instances of tardiness, absenteeism, and misbehavior will be measured.
All students involved in the research will receive multivitamin-mineral supplements free of charge for one year after the study. Teachers will receive educational support materials and gifts for their classrooms for their participation.
The Better Student Research Initiative is a study funded through a Congressional earmarked appropriation of $500,000 to The Healthy Foundation through The US Department of Education. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) sponsored the appropriation.
Commenting on the passage of this key appropriation, Senator Harkin said, “The foundation’s program, Vitamin Relief USA-Children First, provides at-risk children with daily nutritional supplements to improve their health and academic success and then evaluates the impact it makes. We already know that sound child nutrition is linked with improved school performance and attendance. This new program just makes sense. We need this type of investment to help ensure a brighter future for every student.”
Congressman Pallone said, “We have the opportunity and obligation to make sure the basic biological needs of every citizen are met. The Healthy Foundation program offers a simple, low cost solution to a serious problem for America’s underserved children.”
The Healthy Foundation currently provides daily vitamins to 12,850 children from low-income families at 225 partner sites in 40 states. It is also providing vitamins to over 1,100 seniors through a model pilot program in Riverside, California. This national initiative called Vitamin Relief USA is a public/private partnership that distributes daily children’s multivitamin/mineral supplements to those at-risk for malnutrition and nutrient deficiency.
The Healthy Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit foundation committed to improving the health status of children and adults through vitamin supplementation. To support The Healthy Foundation or for further information, please call 877-935-5348 or log onto www.nourishamerica.org