Effect of diet quality on academic achievement among female college students
Aim: The study was conducted in order to determine whether diet quality had an effect on academic achievement (CGPA) of female undergraduate students. Materials and Methods: A sample of 222 students aged 19 to 24 years was drawn from Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore. Data was collected using a questionnaire that took into account student’s demographics, academic profile, as well as a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). The USDA National Nutrient Database was then used to calculate the usual dietary intake of macronutrients and micronutrients for each student. The Diet Quality Index-International (DQI-I) was utilized to determine a diet quality score for them. Findings: The mean DQI-I score for the students was 57.27 (±9.86). Linear regression established the existence of a positive relationship between diet quality score and CGPA (p<.05). There was a significant effect of the variety component (p<.05) and the moderation component (p<.05) on academic achievement but not of adequacy and overall balance components. Conclusions: The students had an overall diet quality score that was considered poor. When diet quality scores were compared with CGPA using linear regression analysis a positive association was found, meaning as diet quality improved so did the student’s CGPA and vice versa. Reasons as to why their diet quality was low and how to improve it should be further investigated. This study will be valuable in providing the base line dietary data of the students for this purpose.
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