Home Print this page Email this page Small font size Default font size Increase font size
Users Online: 4685
Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 


 
 Table of Contents 
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1986-1990  

Relationship between nutritional habits and school performance among primary school students in Asser Region


1 Assistant Prof. of Pediatrics, Department of Child Health, KKU, Abha, KSA
2 Medical Intern, KKU, Abha, KSA

Date of Submission30-Oct-2019
Date of Decision25-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance29-Dec-2019
Date of Web Publication30-Apr-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Youssef Alqahtani
Assistant Prof. of Pediatrics, Department of Child Health, KKU, Abha
KSA
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_885_19

Rights and Permissions
  Abstract 


Background: Healthy nutrition is a necessary for people mental health, because of that nutritional habits effect on school performance. So, a high sugar intake, fat, and fast food meals have a strong relationship with low academic performance and lot of diseases like metabolic disease in other researches of pediatric age group. Aim: To assess nutritional habits and its relation with school performance among primary school students in Aseer region, Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in targeting parents of primary school children in Aseer region. Data were collected using pre-structured online questionnaire. Questionnaire was available online using social media programs to be answered by students' mothers. Residence was initial question to confirm residency at Aseer region. Results: A total sample of 357 respondents with their children ages ranged from 6- to 18-year-old and 62.7% of their children were females. Exact 81% of the students had 3 meals daily and 88% had their breakfast before going to school. About 75% of the sampled mothers reported excellent grade for their student school performance. Also, significant association of school performance with breakfast intake and fast food was recorded. Conclusions: In conclusion, the study revealed that the students had an averaged eating habits regarding meals number specially breakfast and contents. Fast food was recorded among two thirds of the students which is negative finding. Also, school performance was very good and significantly associated with eating habits specially breakfast intake and fast food frequency.

Keywords: Eating behavior, nutritional habits, primary school students, scholastic achievement, school performance


How to cite this article:
Alqahtani Y, Assiri OA, Al-Shahrani NS, Alyazidi NS, Alshahrani MS. Relationship between nutritional habits and school performance among primary school students in Asser Region. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:1986-90

How to cite this URL:
Alqahtani Y, Assiri OA, Al-Shahrani NS, Alyazidi NS, Alshahrani MS. Relationship between nutritional habits and school performance among primary school students in Asser Region. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Feb 27];9:1986-90. Available from: https://www.jfmpc.com/text.asp?2020/9/4/1986/283442




  Background Top


There are dramatic changes in the world including industrialization, urbanization, economic improvement which resulted in wide world changes in many life aspects including lifestyle. Among lifestyle changes, the nutritional habits have been changing during the last decades, characterized by an increase of fat intake, mostly in saturated fat, along with a decrease in cereals, fruits, legumes, and vegetables consumption with rapid life rhythm.[1],[2]

There are lot of things like: obesity, income class, activities, emotional status, and etc., could effect on school performance level among primary school students (age of 6–12 years old)[3] Many of these studies were conducted to determine effect of dietary habits on academic performance. The breakfast played a vital role in memorizing and recognition and mental toughness during the day to day activities.[4],[5] Meal skipping specially breakfast may contribute to poorer food choice throughout the rest of the day and then will affect school performance and learning abilities.[6]

Healthy nutrition is a necessary for people mental health, because of that nutritional habits effect on school performance. So, a high sugar intake, fat, and fast food meals have a strong relationship with low academic performance and lot of diseases like metabolic disease in other researches of pediatric age group.[7],[8] Skipping of one main meal is common nowadays such as breakfast. A breakfast meal is very important and necessary for people cognition, learning and acquiring skills because it supplies them by many important micronutrients like (vitamins, glucose, etc) which play an important role in brain health and the quality of its power and functions.[9]

The World Health Organization has formerly suggested that health experts be reinforced in taking an energetic part in encouraging strong nutritional activities and given that nutrition care. General practitioners (GPs) provide corresponding full health care to persons and families in their societies. GPs are therefore located in contact with people, and patients expect their physicians to provide them with health information.[10],[11]

This research aimed to study the nutritional habits and an academic performance level, we care about number of meals per a day, its pattern like skipping breakfast, and a frequency of fast food eating in primary school age in Asser region.


  Methodology Top


A cross-sectional study was conducted in targeting parents of primary school children in Aseer region. The study was conducted during the period from 2012 to 2016 A total number of 357 respondents were included. Data were collected using pre-structured online questionnaire. The questionnaire was constructed by researchers with the help of experts and midline literature review. The questionnaire consisted of four sections. First section had children socio-demographic data, medical data, and family data. Second section covered nutritional habits including breakfast intake, meals number and contents, fast food habits. Third section covered data regarding school performance, concentration and problem-solving abilities. Last section concerned with respondents suggestions to improve their children eating habits. Questionnaire was available online using social media programs to be answered by students' mothers. Residence was initial question to confirm residency at Aseer region.

Data analysis

After data were collected it was revised, coded and fed to statistical software IBM SPSS version 20. The given graphs were constructed using Microsoft excel software. All statistical analysis was done using two tailed tests and alpha error of 0.05. P value less than or equal to 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Frequency and percent were used to describe the frequency distribution of each category for different demographic, nutritional, and school performance data. Chi square/Mont Carlo exact test and Fishers exact test were used to test for the association between students' nutritional habits and their school performance. Exact testes were used if there are small frequencies where chi square is invalid.


  Results Top


A total sample of 357 respondents with their children ages ranged from 6- to 18-years and 62.7% of their children were females. About 43% of the children were the last in order while 26.9% were the first child. Exact of 94.4% of the children families had sufficient monthly income. About 61% of the students' fathers were university graduated and also were 51.5% of their mothers. As for parents' work, 88.8% of students' fathers were working and 54.9% of their mothers. Mothers were the main care giver among 95.8% of the students. Parents were separated among 4.5% of the sampled families. Exact 27.7% of the students had family history of obesity 24.4% were previously hospitalized [Table 1].
Table 1: Bio-demographic data of sampled school children, Saudi Arabia

Click here to view


[Table 2] illustrates the dietary habits of the sampled students with regard to their mothers' aspect. Exact 81% of the students had 3 meals daily and 88% had their breakfast before going to school. Also 82.4% of the students have snacks in between meals. About 96% of the students receive meals containing vital nutrients and 66.7% receive fruits and vegetables with meals. Exact 63.9% of the mothers reported that their students prefer having fast food but actually 34.5% of them receive fast food once weekly while about 6% receive it daily.
Table 2: Dietary habits of sampled school children, Saudi Arabia

Click here to view


With regard to school performance [Table 3], 75.1% of the sampled mothers reported excellent grade for their student school performance. Excellent concentration ability was reported by 97.8% of the students' mothers and excellent understanding ability was recorded for 98.3% of the students. Only 28% of the mothers reported that there is study difficulties for their students and 10.9% of them were noticed regarding poor performance of their students from their schools. Exact 9.5% of the students recorded school absenteeism due to food problems.
Table 3: School performance of sampled school students, Saudi Arabia

Click here to view


With regard to relation between dietary habits and school performance [Table 4], 77.1% of students who had their breakfast regularly recorded excellent school performance compared to 60.5% of those who did not with recorded statistical significance (P = 0.048). Also 79.3% of students who don't have fast food recorded excellent school performance compared to 50% of those who receive fast food daily (P = 0.015). Having fruits and vegetables was associated with excellent performance among 77.7% of the students compared to 69.7% of those who did not (P = 0.063).
Table 4: Relation between sampled students eating habits and their school performance

Click here to view


Finally, on asking mothers about their suggestion to improve their children dietary habits [Figure 1], using incentives and gifts was the most recorded suggestion (26.3%) followed with giving the student different meals (variation in given meals) (17.9%), avoid having fast food (16.8%) while school role in educating students health dietary habits was suggested by 6.7% of the mothers and 10.1% failed to provide any suggestions.
Figure 1: Parents suggestions to improve their children eating habits

Click here to view



  Discussion Top


The objectives of the study is to assess nutritional habits and its relation with school performance among primary school students in Aseer region, Saudi Arabia.

In our study we have observed that with regard to relation between dietary habits and school performance 77.1% of students who had their breakfast regularly recorded excellent school performance compared to 60.5% of those who did not with recorded statistical significance (P = 0.048). Our study also confirmed that the regular consumption of breakfast and frequent intake of fruits, vegetables, and milk contributed to high levels of school performance to varying degrees. Conversely any frequency of soft drink, instant noodle, fast food intake, and eating confections less than seven times a week negatively affected school performance. Numerous factors are known to affect the academic performance of students. Children with an increased number of damaging eating ways, they are on risk as their health will affect badly. (Fu et al., 2007). Zaini et al. (2005)[12],[13] stated that improved diet can improve students' nutritional positions. Sigfusdottir et al. (2007), Stevenson (2006) and Kim et al. (2005)[14],[15],[16] and found that increased BMI, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and sociodemographic is associated with poor school performance. Inline with our study we have observed in other study also that Fruits and vegetables were related to high levels of school Performance. One study examined the effects of breakfast size with or without a mid-morning snack (Benton and Jarvis, 2007).[17] The results indicated that children who consumed a small breakfast (<150 Kcal) spent significantly more time on-task when a mid-morning snack was also eaten. This effect was not evident in children who consumed more energy at breakfast (151–230 Kcal and >230 Kcal). Correspondingly, children who consumed <150 Kcal at breakfast spent significantly more time off-task when no snack was eaten compared with children who consumed more energy at breakfast. This suggests a mid-morning snack is only beneficial for children who have skipped or eaten very little for breakfast and corrects the energy deficiency.

Online questionnaire as a method of data collection limits the statistical power as respondents are of special higher social class who are mostly educated which may affected the precision of results and conclusions. Thus, future research in a large variable scale should be done in order to further our understanding of this relationship in detail and data need to be put into more advanced models.


  Conclusions and Recommendations Top


In conclusion, the study revealed that the students had an averaged eating habits regarding meals number specially breakfast and contents. Fast food was recorded among two thirds of the students which is negative finding. Also, school performance was very good and significantly associated with eating habits specially breakfast intake and fast food frequency. More effort should be paid to improve eating habits of the school aged children by education their mothers or caregivers through sending messages, health education sessions and supplying them with posters through their children.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Aoun C, Bou Daher R, El Osta N, Papazian T, Khabbaz LR. Reproducibility and relative validity of a food frequency questionnaire to assess dietary intake of adults living in a Mediterranean country. PLoS One 2019;14:e0218541.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Papadaki A, Hondros G, Scott JA, Kapsokefalou M. Eating habits of University students living at, or away from home in Greece. Appetite 2007;49:169-76.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Benton D. The influence of dietary status on the cognitive performance of children. Mol Nutr Food Res2010;54:457-70.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Florence MD, Asbridge M, Veugelers PJ. Diet quality and academic performance. J Sch Health2008;78:209-15; quiz 239-41.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Deshmukh-Taskar PR, Nicklas TA, O'Neil CE, Keast DR, Radcliffe JD, Cho S. The relationship of breakfast skipping and type of breakfast consumption with nutrient intake and weight status in children and adolescents: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2006. J Am Diet Assoc2010;110:869-78.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Fernández San Juan PM. Dietary habits and nutritional status of school aged children in Spain. Nutr Hosp 2006;21:374-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Chugani HT. A critical period of brain development: Studies of cerebral glucose utilization with PET. Prev Med 1998;27:184-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Morris MC, Evans DA, Tangney CC, Bienias JL, Wilson RS. Associations of vegetable and fruit consumption with age-related cognitive change. Neurology 2006;67:1370-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Silveira BM, Kliemann N, Silva DP, Colussi CF, Proença RPC. Availability and price of food products with and without trans fatty acids in food stores around elementary schools in low- and medium-income neighborhoods. Ecol Food Nutr 2013;52:63-75.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Nowson CA, O'Connell SL. Nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and confidence of Australian general practice registrars. J Biomed Educ 2015;2015:219198.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Dumic A, Miskulin I, Pavlovic N, Cacic Kenjeric D, Orkic Z, Miskulin M. Attitudes toward nutrition care among general practitioners in Croatia. J Clin Med 2018;7:E60. doi: 10.3390/jcm7040060.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Fu ML, Cheng L, Tu SH, Pan WH. Association between unhealthful eating patterns and unfavuorable overall school performance in children. J Am Diet Assoc 2007;107:1935-43.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Zaini MZ, Lim CT, Low WY, Harun F. Effects of nutritional status on academic performance of Malaysian primary school children. Asia Pac J Public Health 2005;17:81-7.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Sigfusdottir ID, Kristjansson AL, Allegrante JP. Health behaviour and academic achievement in Icelandic school children. Health Edu Res 2007;22:70-80.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Stevenson J. Dietary influences on cognitive development and behaviour in children. Proc Nutr Soc 2006;65:361-5.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Kim SH, Kim JY, Keen CL. Comparison of dietary patterns and nutrient intakes of elementary schoolchildren living in remote rural and urban areas in Korea: Their potential impact on school performance. Nutr Res 2005;25:349-63.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Benton D, Jarvis M. The role of breakfast and a mid-morning snack on the ability of children to concentrate at school. Physiol Behav 2010;90:382-5.  Back to cited text no. 17
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

Top
   
 
  Search
 
Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
  In this article
   Abstract
  Background
  Methodology
  Results
  Discussion
   Conclusions and ...
   References
   Article Figures
   Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed901    
    Printed11    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded130    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal