Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for neurodevelopment. Fish is a major source of these essential nutrients. We asked whether a nation's fish consumption is associated with its pupils' PISA scores as measures of school achievement, independent of economic status and breastfeeding. Method (Design and Setting): This was a regression analytic study based on published data.
Data on fish consumption and PISA scores were available for 64 countries. A significant regression model explained 72% of the variance in PISA scores. Breastfeeding does not enter the model. After controlling for technical and/or economic development, a nation's fish consumption remains a significant predictor, explaining an additional 4% of the variance.
This effect is likely due to the fact that fish, as the major source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for a population, is important for the omega-3 supply to mothers and the early neurodevelopment of their children.
Fish consumption, as a proxy for a population's omega-3 supply, is an independent predictor of pupils' school achievement, in addition to a nation's economic development.