Is good dietary diversity a predictor of academic success?

Main Article Content

Said Bouchefra
Safouane El Ghouddany
Karim Ouali
Abdellatif Bour


Dietary habits, Dietary Diversity Score, Academic Achievement, Education, Schoolchildren


Background and aim: Interest in identifying factors influencing educational success is growing. Many studies have examined factors that may affect academic performance. It is often observed that a group of students sharing the same external variables (school environment) yet have different results, which states that individual variables have more impact on the determination of academic performance. Therefore, the present study aims to substantiate this controversy by investigating the association between dietary habits and academic performance in a population of adolescents attending school in Eastern Morocco

Methods: Cross-sectional study based on a self-administered questionnaire. Items included sociodemographic variables, eating and sleeping habits, physical activity practice and the last semester grade point average of mathematics (GPAm) and first foreign language (GPAf) subjects

Results: Dietary diversity score (DDS) is a significant predictor of academic performance. Weight status and sleep duration was found to be strongly associated with academic achievement. Absenteeism and smoking are negatively associated with school achievement

Conclusions: Findings indicate associations between dietary diversity and academic performance of students in eastern Morocco which support creation of effective nutrition education policies to eradicate the double burden of malnutrition on the one side leanness and on the other side fighting against obesity by promoting good diet in terms of quality and quantity and encouraging physical exercise. It is also essential to review the lifestyle of adolescents by raising awareness against the scourge of smoking near schools. The results of these actions are likely to be healthier schools and improved behavioral development and academic performance of children. (


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