Effects of Daily milk supplementation on improving the physical and mental function as well as school performance among children: Results from a school feeding program

Khadijeh Rahmani, Abolghasem Djazayeri, Mohsen Ibrahimhabibi, Homa Heidari, Ahmadreza Dorostimotlagh, Maryam Pourshahriyari, Leila Azadbakht


  • BACKGROUND: School feeding programs are important interventions for improving the nutritional status. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of milk supplementation on physical and mental function as well as school performance.
  • METHODS: This case-control population based intervention was conducted on 469 students from 4 schools in a medium socio-economic status region in Tehran, Iran. The schools were chosen by Iranian ministry of education and training but they were allocated in case and control randomly (Two girls’ schools and two boys’ schools). All the students in the first to third classes in intervention schools were consumed daily milk. Sterilized and homogenized milk was distributed daily during three months (250 ml for each student). Anthropometric measurements were done according to the standard methods. For evaluating the mental function, two psychological tests including the Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices (CPM) and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children test (verbal, non-verbal, total Intelligent Quatient) were used to evaluate the students. School performance was assessed by grade-point averages of each student.
  • RESULTS: The weight of children was significantly different between control and intervention groups at the end of study among girls (23.0 ± 3.8 vs. 23.8 ± 4.3 kg; p < 0.05). There was no significant difference between the mean of height and mid-arm circumference between control and intervention group at the end of trial (p > 0.05) in total participants; however, the mid-arm circumference was different among girls. Psychological tests scores were significantly different between control and intervention groups (p < 0.05) at the end of trial among boys. The grade-point average was significantly different at the end of trial between intervention and control groups among girls (p < 0.05).
  • CONCLUSIONS: School feeding programs focus on milk supplementation had beneficial effects on the physical function and school performances, specifically among girls in Iran.
  • KEYWORDS: Milk supplementation, School feeding programs, Mental function, School performance, Health, Physical function.


Milk supplementation, school feeding programs, growth, school performance, health

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