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Congress Funds Research Program to Determine Impact of Daily Vitamins on School Performance of At-Risk Children

Murrieta, CA - What if you could improve children’s academic performance; raise their IQ levels, and lower behavioral problems – just by giving them a daily multi-vitamin tablet?

Intriguing recent research suggests that is exactly the case. And now Congress has appropriated $500,000 to find out if this wonderfully simple idea can make a powerful difference for at-risk children.

Sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), this award to The Healthy Foundation of Murrieta, California will underwrite a research program, to begin in late 2002, which will measure improvement in academic performance and behavior in several thousand at-risk American schoolchildren given low-dose vitamin-mineral supplementation.

The Healthy Foundation currently provides daily vitamins to over 5,000 children from low-income families at 87 sites in 33 states. Its national initiative, called Vitamin Relief USA-Children First, is a public private partnership that distributes daily children’s chewable multivitamin/mineral supplements to children at-risk for malnutrition and nutrient deficiency.

Hyla Cass, M.D., president of The Healthy Foundation explains: “Our mission is to improve the health status and quality of life of the at-risk children in our nation. By catching them early, we are very likely saving these children from a lifetime of underachievement – and worse. Vitamins not only help them perform better academically, but they also promote normal growth and development to their full mental and physical capabilities. With more public and private funding, this program, over time, will result in a safer, healthier and more productive America.”

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 Frank Pallone, a strong supporter of the legislation, recently cited Pediatrics Journal’s report that only one percent of 3,300 youths studied met the U.S. RDA for a healthy diet. “We have the opportunity and obligation to make sure the basic biological needs of every citizen are met,” Pallone added. “The Healthy Foundation program offers a simple, low cost solution to a serious problem for America’s underserved children.”

Congressional support echoes the American public’s ongoing enthusiasm for dietary supplements. According to a Harris survey, six out of ten Americans (59 percent) report taking dietary supplements. The same survey showed that 17% of the general population took vitamins and minerals for the first time in 2000 and that 85% of all U.S. consumers used dietary supplements some time in the year 2000.

“We believe The Healthy Foundation’s Vitamin Relief USA-Children First program will validate vitamin/mineral supplements as a viable intervention for improving the academic performance and well-being of American children,” said Dr. Cass.

The vitamins and program sponsors include Longevity Sciences, Tishcon Corp., Natural Factors, Rx Vitamins, Nutrition Formulators, Elan Intl., SETCO, Tim Plastics, Creative Image, Mini Graphics, Optimum Health Int., Cosmo-Pharm, Inc., Package All Corp., MedCorps Intl., the Fetzer Institute, and New Hope Natural Media. Collaborative program partner agencies and organizations include Volunteers of America, Save the Children, Health Care for the Homeless Clinician’s Network, America’s Second Harvest, Head Start programs, K-12 public schools and school districts, and countless other faith-based and community-based groups.

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

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