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Study of the Dietary Preferences and the Social-Psychological Factors that Affect the Dietary Behaviors of High School

and University Students.

Kasamaki J. Source
Institute of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, Niigata University.

Objectives: This study was conducted to elucidate the correlation among dietary intake, dietary preferences, and social-psychological factors in the youth and to examine the factors that affect such dietary behaviors as snacking, skipping breakfast, and taking a biased nutrition. Methods: A survey was carried out using a questionnaire with closed questions on multiple items such as dietary behaviors, psychosocial stress, dietary externalization, information and consciousness about health. The survey was conducted on 1,056 high school students and 1,323 university students in Japan. Results: As a result of the factor analysis among the groups of male/female and high school/university students, relationships were found between the items of "preferences for snacking" and "snack food intakes" among all these groups. Those who like sweets and snacks tended to snack between lunch and dinner or after dinner by themselves more often than those who do not. In contrast to men, intermediate correlations were found between the item of "a meal as a diversion" and each of the items of "snack food intake," "preferences for fried foods/sauted foods/meat dishes," and "preferences for snacking," among women who do not live alone, regardless of their being high school or university students. The item of "stress over human relationships/academic performance" was shown to have similarly weak correlations with the items of "reasons for skipping breakfast" and "nutrition intake" in the groups of male and female high school students. The less they value nutrition intake, the more they tend to be conscious of stress over human relationships/academic performance.

J-STAGE, Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic Medical Online, Meteo Inc - PDF

The Relationship of Food and Academic Performance: A Preliminary Examination of the Factors of Nutritional Neuroscience, Malnutrition, and Diet Adequacy

Adequate and sufficient healthy intake of food is essential to brain function (Bloom, 2009; Dauncey, 2009; Kazal, 2002; Shariff, Bond, & Johnson, 2000). Moreover, maximizing brain function is a prime factor in seizing appropriate cognitive capability for example, ability to focus, comprehension, evaluation, and application in learning (Kretchmer, Beard, Carlson, 1996; Schmitt, 2010). This article addresses three aspects related to the food-learning relationship, including offering (1) a prcis of the nutritional needs of the brain by analyzing research from cognitive neuroscience and healthcare fields; (2) an exploration malnutrition in terms of both over- and under-nutrition, and a discussion of the implications of malnutrition at different stages in development; and (3) a consideration of the effect of diet quality on academic achievement. Finally, a synthesis of these three aspects, a discussion of related learning theory and current debate, and practical implications for educational settings is tendered. The topic is particularly relevant to Christian educators and others who wish to gain an interdisciplinary, sympathetic perspective on how basic human habits and behavior (food ingestion) affect the educational enterprise. All aspects of the human experience, which include physical, emotional, social, moral, and religious dimensions, are to be considered as Christian educators seek a holistic view of life. Summary of Factors Regarding Food and Academic Performance The human brain needs sufficient energy specifically glucose and a variety of micronutrients to perform cognitive functions. A long-term deficiency of any or numerous macro- or micro-nutrients causes malnutrition and consequential cognitive impairment, the extent of which depends on the duration and degree of the malnourishment and the timing of its occurrence in development. In the United States, macronutrient malnutrition (i.e., starvation) is rare, but the diets of Americas schoolchildren lack quality as measured by adequate and varied consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and moderation of saturated fats and extra-calorie foods. Therefore, it can be inferred that U.S. students brains are often malnourished, as they are undersupplied of the micronutrients needed for effective cognition. Improvements in the nutritional quality of students diets are associated with academically beneficial gains, but have not been repeatedly and causally correlated to increased academic achievement. Concrete links between food consumption either at large or in specific foods and academic performance have not been established, likely because of the complex nature of the variables, the abundant confounders, and the longitudinal design necessary to understand the enduring effects. In general, however, it is clear that consistently eating sufficient quantity and variety of nutrient-dense foods will improve childrens diet quality, and consequentially reduce the potential for the cognitive impairments associated with malnutrition.

Woodhouse, Allison and Lamport, Ph.D., Mark A. (2012) "The Relationship of Food and Academic Performance: A Preliminary Examination of the Factors of Nutritional Neuroscience, Malnutrition, and Diet Adequacy,"Christian Perspectives in Education, 5(1).

Breakfast Habits, Nutritional Status, Body Weight, and Academic Performance in Children and Adolescents

urrent dietary behaviors and practices observed in children and adolescents may have detrimental consequences on their

health. The adverse health consequences that may result from excessive intake of soda and sweetened beverages; fast-food consumption; inadequate intakes of fresh fruits, vegetables, fiber rich foods, and dairy and other calcium-rich foods; reduced levels of physical activity; and increasing obesity rates indicate a need to revisit the diet and lifestyle characteristics of this age group (1,2). The consumption of breakfast is often recommended (3-7). In this age of evidence-based practice, a logical question is whether there is evidence to support the health benefits of this recommendation. Past reviews of the health or cognitive benefits of breakfast consumption in adults or children were published before 1999 (5,8-17) and do not include the results of more recent studies. Several studies have identified a possible role for breakfast consumption in maintaining normal weight status in children and adolescents, which may have important public health implications. We present an updated review and summary of the literature examining the associations between breakfast consumption and three important issues regarding childrens he alth and life-style: nutritional adequacy, body weight, and cognitive and academic performance. An inherent problem with evaluating breakfast studies is how breakfast consumption is defined, particularly with regard to frequency, but also the types of foods consumed and time of day. A variety of definitions were used to characterize breakfast consumers in the studies in this review, including consuming breakfast every day, every school day, on the dietary survey day, a minimum number of days per week, or usual or habitual consumption. These inconsistencies present a challenge when evaluating and comparing studies, and the reader should bear these in mind throughout this review.

Diet, Breakfast, and Academic Performance in Children


To determine whether nutrient intake and academic and psychosocial functioning improve after the start of a universal-free school breakfast program (USBP).

Information was gathered from 97 inner city students prior to the start of a USBP and again after the program had been in place for 6 months. Students who had total energy intakes of <50% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) and/or 2 or more micronutrients of <50% of RDA were considered to be at nutritional risk.

Prior to the USBP, 33% of all study children were classified as being at nutritional risk. Children who were at nutritional risk had significantly poorer attendance, punctuality, and grades at school, more behavior problems, and were less likely to eat breakfast at school than children who were not at nutritional risk. Six months after the start of the free school breakfast programs, students who decreased their nutritional risk showed significantly greater: improvements in attendance and school breakfast participation, decreases in hunger, and improvements in math grades and behavior than children who did not decrease their nutritional risk.

Participation in a school breakfast program enhanced daily nutrient intake and improvements in nutrient intake were associated with significant improvements in student academic performance and psychosocial functioning and decreases in hunger.