The Relationship between the Nutrition Habits, Body Mass Indexes and Academic Successes of the Health School Students
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Objective: This research was conducted to examine the relationship between university students' nutritional habits, body mass index and academic achievements. Methods: The study was conducted with 213 students studying at a school of health in a private university. Socio-demographic characteristics, height and weights and eating habits were asked in the questionnaire applied to students who volunteered with the informed volunteer consent form. The academic success of the students was evaluated on the basis of the end of year weighted grade point average scores. Results: More than half of the participants (51.2%) were students of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics. The majority of students (69.5%) are among the normal values according to the Body Mass Index classification. Of the students, 35.7% think that they always eat healthy and 49.3% eat healthy intermittently. The ratio of the students who stated that they skipped main meals was 87.8% and most frequently skipped meal was the lunch for 60.6% of the participants. The ratios of the students who always consume snacks and who consume snacks from time to time were 27.2% and 65.7% respectively. The academic success of the students who consume snacks regularly was significantly higher. It was found that the academic achievement of students who thought that they were eating healthy was higher than that of the others. There was a weak but statistically significant negative correlation between students' body mass index values and academic achievement. Conclusions: A relationship between students' nutritional habits and academic success was found in our study. In order to raise healthy, productive and successful generations, the importance of nutrition should be emphasized more especially in adolescent period in which life-time basic nutrition habits are adopted. Nutrition trainings and lessons may be useful for this purpose.