In December 2001, The Healthy Foundation? was awarded an earmarked appropriation of $500,000 by the United States Congress, through the U.S. Department of Education, to conduct a study on the impact of daily vitamin intake on the academic performance of at-risk children. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) sponsored the Congressional appropriation for this study, now known as the ?Better Student Research Initiative??.
The research contract for this study has been awarded to The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Adam Perlman, MD, Executive Director of the Institute of Complementary & Alternative Medicine at UMDNJ, serves as Principal Investigator of the study. Other UMDNJ research team members include Julie O'Sullivan Maillet, PhD, RD, and Riva Touger-Decker, PhD, RD.
The researchers and co-investigators from Rutgers University are John Worobey, PhD and Daniel Hoffman, PhD, both from the Dept. of Nutritional Sciences, and Jeffrey Smith, PhD, from the Dept. of Educational Psychology.
In this double-blind study, 1,600 fourth-grade students will be randomly selected from schools in the Newark, New Jersey area. From October 2004 to May 2004, the students will receive either daily placebos or vitamins. As part 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. Participating teachers will receive educational support materials and gifts for their classrooms for their participation.
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.
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.?