The study was lead by by Torbjörn Nilsson, a professor in Biomedicine at Örebro University in eastern Sweden.
“This means that the food and the mealtime culture in school can play as important a role for results as the various organisational and modes of operation which the schools debate often focuses on,” Nilsson said in a statement on Wednesday.
The researchers compared, among other things, the intake of folate and school grades among Swedish 15-year-old’s and found that there was an “evident” connection.
Folate is contained in vegetables, fruit and berries, as well as juice and wholegrain bread, liver and beans and many other foodstuffs to a lesser extent.
The researchers argued that the study underlines the importance of good school food and mealtime habits in the home to give young people the best start in life.
“The brain and cognitive abilities continue to develop during adolescence, but no previous study has examined dietary intakes of folate affects the study abilities of young people.”
The researchers were not however able to draw any concrete conclusions as to which qualities are most affected by folate, saying that “there are many factors that affect results in school”.
“A completely different type of study to define the exact which mechanisms are involved,” said Anita Hurtig-Wennlöf, researcher in biomedicine at Örebro University.