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Real food effects our minds as well as our waistlines.

Whether we like it or not the food that we eat doesn’t just affect our waistlines, it effects the way that we feel. If you’re mindful of the way you feel after munching on a Hershey bar and a coke then you’re less likely to eat junk food because the highs and the lows become too hard to bear. But in a move that may seem slightly more controversial, one school principal in Appleton, Wis., changed the school menu to cut crime at the school. According to a recent story on WELL Said, LuAnn Coenen, the principal at a high school, reduced fighting, weapons-carrying, and general lack of focus and discipline in the school by changing the menu.


Christina Pirello wrote on her blog WELL Said about the Wisconsin school that took an innovative approach to fixing crime and discontent. According to the story, vending machines were the first to go, replaced by water coolers and processed burgers and fries became fruits and vegetables.

“With the departure of junk food, she also saw the departure of vandalism, litter and the need for police patrolling her hallways. The students were calm, socially engaged and focused on their schoolwork. Problems were minimal. And all Ms. Coenen did was change the menu.”

But this isn’t a coincidence according to a story in Ode Magazine. The brain is an active machine. It uses a whopping 20 percent of our energy. In order to generate that energy, we need a broad range of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fatty acids that we get from nutritious meals. These nutrients aren’t provided in the host of processed junk food that many of us call food.

Stephen Schoenthaler, professor of criminal justice at California State University proved that much when he conducted a study on students at 803 low-income neighborhood schools in New York City. With a supervised change in the students’ diets, passing final exam grades went from 11 percent below the national average to 5 percent above it.

Read more about the study on WELL Said.