The Relation Between Nutritional Habits and Social Factors on School Performance of Students of Elementary Schools in Fayoum
Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences
Volume 3, Issue 2, March 2015, Pages: 71-83
Received: Sep. 24, 2014; Accepted: Nov. 16, 2014; Published: Mar. 26, 2015
Views 3308      Downloads 205
Hanan A. Hussien, Food Technology Research Institute, Agricultural Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt
Nabih A. Ibrahim, Food Technology Research Institute, Agricultural Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt
Amal Hassanin, Food Technology Research Institute, Agricultural Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt
Article Tools
Follow on us
Background: Malnutrition among children in developing countries continues to impair health and development. School feeding is supposed to eliminate hunger of school age children improving their health, education and future productivity as adults. Objective: to assess the effect of breakfast and school feeding program (SFP) on the academic performance of primary school children in Fayoum governorate. Methods: The intervention group consisted of 576 pupils in the 5th grade chosen randomly from schools have taken school meal for five years. The control group was 233 age and sex-matched pupils chosen randomly from schools have never taken school meal. The snack consists of a pie fortified with minerals and vitamins. Assessment of nutritional status, socio-demographic variables and dietary behaviour was performed. Grades of pupils were taken. Results: Children, who have got school meal for five years, 81.8% and 88.7% of them passed in school and math respectively, for girls the effect was higher. Other nutritional factors have less positive effect. Social factors have less effect on both school achievement and math. Multiple regression analysis presents school meal as the main predictor of school achievement and math grades, while sex and family income are the only socioeconomic variables predictors of school achievement and math grades. Conclusion: School snack has the opportunity to alleviate short-term hunger during the school day. Providing students with important micronutrients especially iron, regularly through daily intake of school snacks, results in improvement in school grades. School meal should be one of multiple interventions designed to improve the environment in which poor children live and learn.
School Meal, Breakfast, Micronutrients, Math Grades, School Achievements
To cite this article
Hanan A. Hussien, Nabih A. Ibrahim, Amal Hassanin, The Relation Between Nutritional Habits and Social Factors on School Performance of Students of Elementary Schools in Fayoum, Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, 2015, pp. 71-83. doi: 10.11648/j.jfns.20150302.17
Acham, H., Kikafunda, J.K.; Malde, M.K.; Oldewage-Theron, W.H. & Egal, Abdul Kadir A. (2012). Breakfast, midday meals and academic achievement in rural primary schools in Uganda: implications for education and school health policy. Food & Nutrition Research, 56, 11217 -11229.
Adrogué, C and Orlicki, M.E (2013) Do In-School Feeding Programs Have Impact on Academic Performance and Dropouts? The Case of Public Argentine Schools. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 21(50), 1-23.
Ahmed, AU. (2004). Impact of feeding children in school: evidence from Bangladesh. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.
Alaimo, K; Olson, CM & Frongillo, EA. (2001).Food insufficiency and American school-aged children’s cognitive, academic, and psychosocial development. Pediatr; 108: 44-53.
Ani, C. & Grantham-McGregor, S. (1999). The effects of breakfast onchildren’s educational performance, attendance and class room behaviour. In: Fit for School (Donovan N, Street C, eds), 11–17. New Policy Institute, London.
Benton, D.& Patker, PY. (1998). Breakfast, blood glucose, and cognition. Am J. Clin. Nutr; 67: 772S-778S.
Bhaskaram, P. (2001). Immunobiology of mild micronutrient deficiencies. British Journal of Nutrition, 85, S75–S80.
Ceballo, R., McLoyd, V., &Toyokawa, T. (2004). The influence of neighborhood quality on adolescents’ educational values and school efforts. Journal of Adolescent Research, 19(6), 716-739.
Del Rosso, JM & Marek, T.(1996). Class action: improving school performance in the developing world through better health and nutrition. Washington, DC: World Bank; (1996).
Del Rosso JM. (1999). School feeding programs: improving effectiveness and increasing the benefit to education. A guide for Program managers. The Partnership for Child Development,1999.
Ekaju, J. (2011). An investigation into the relationship between the 1997 Universal Primary Education (UPE) Policy and regional poverty and educational inequalities in Uganda (1997-2007). Thesis, University of Glasgow, 2011.
Gorman, KS (1995). Malnutrition and cognitive development: evidence from experimental/quasi-experimental studies among the mild-to moderately malnourished. Journal of Nutrition, 125, 2239S–44S.
Grantham-McGregor S.(2005). Can the provision of breakfast benefit school performance? Food Nutr Bull. Jun; 26 (2 Suppl 2):S144-58.
Grantham-McGregor, SM; Chang, S. & Walker, SP. (1998). Evaluation of school feeding programmes: some Jamaican examples. Am J Clin. Nutr; 67: 785S-9S.
Grantham-McGregor, S. (2002). Linear growth retardation and cognition. Lancet, 359- 542.
Grantham-McGregor, S.(1995). A review of studies of the effect of severe malnutrition on mental development. Journal of Nutrition, 125, 2233S–8S.
Grantham-McGregor, S.; Walker, S. & Chang, S. (2000). Nutritional deficiencies and later behavioural development. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 59, 47–54.
Gross, SM and Cinelli, B (2004). Coordinated school health program and dietetics professionals: partners in promoting healthful eating. Journal of the American Dietetic Association,10 (5), 793-798.
Hamid Jan JMt, Amal K Mitra'z, Hasmiza H', Pim CD, Ng LOr & Wan Manan WM' (2011). Effect of Gender and Nutritional Status on Academic Achievement and Cognitive Function among Primary School Children in a Rural District in Malaysia. Mal J Nutr, 17(2), 189-200.
Hanushek, EA & Lavy, V. (1994). School quality, achievement bias, and dropout behaviour in Egypt, LSMS Working Paper, No. 107. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Kamogawa, A, (2003) .Higher education reform: Challenges towards a knowledge society in Malaysia, APCITY/UNPAN025531.pdf [Accessed 28 May 2014].
Kleinman, RE, Murphy, JM, Little, M, Pagano, M, Wehler, CA, Regal, K, Jellinek, MS.(1998). Hunger in children in the United States: potential behavioral and emotional correlates. Pediatr; 101:e3.
Levitsky, D. & Strupp, B. (1995). Malnutrition and the brain: changing concepts, changing concerns. Journal of Nutrition, 125, 2212S–20S.
McCann Joyce, C and Ames Bruce, N. (2007). An overview of evidence for a causal relation between iron deficiency during development and deficits in cognitive or behavioral function. Am J ClinNutr;85, 931–45.
Meyers, AF; Sampson, AE; Weitzman, M; Rogers, BL & Kayne, H. (1989). School breakfast program and school performance. Am J Dis Child; 143: 1234-1239.
Murphy, J; Wehler, C; Pagano, M; Little, M; Kleinman, R & Jellinek M. (1998). Relationship between hunger and psychosocial functioning in low-income American children. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry; 37: 163-170.
Murphy, J. M.; Pagano, M. E.; Nachmani, J.; Sperling; P.; Kane, S.& Kleinman, R.E. (1998). The Relationship of School Breakfast to Psychosocial and Academic Functioning. ARCH PEDIATR ADOLESC MED, 152, 899-907.
Pollit, E. (1995). Does breakfast make a difference in school? J Am Diet Assoc; 95(10): 1134_9.
Pollitt, E.;Cueto, S& Jacoby, ER. (1998). Fasting and cognition in well and undernourished schoolchildren: a review of three experimental studies. Am J Clin. Nutr; 67: 779S-784S.
Pollitt, E; Golub, M; Gorman, K; Grantham-McGregor, S; Levitsky, D; Schurch, B; Strupp, B & Wachs, T. (1996). A reconceptualization of the effects of undernutrition on children's biological, psychosocial, and behavioral development. Social Policy Rep; 10: 1-21.
Powell, C; Grantham-McGregor, SM & Elston, M. (1983).An evaluation of giving the Jamaican government school meal to a class of children. Hum. Nutr. Clin. Nutr; 37C: 381-388.
Powell, CA. & Grantham-McGregor, SM. (1980). The association between nutritional status, school achievement and school attendance in twelve-year-old children at a Jamaican school. W Indian Med J.; 29: 247-53.
Sewnet, M. (1995). Some factors affecting scholastic achievement ofelementary school pupils. Thesis, School of Graduate Studies,Addis Ababa University.
Simeon, DT. (1998). School feeding in Jamaica: a review of its evaluation. Am J Clin. Nutr; 67: 790S-794S.
Tan, J.-P.; Lane, J. and Lassibille, G. (1999). Student outcomes in Philippine elementary schools: An evaluation of four experiments. World Bank Economic Review, 13 (3): 493–508.
Taras, H. (2005). Nutrition and Student Performance at School. Journal of School Health, 75(6), 199-213
Trochim, W.M. Research Methods Knowledge Base. Accessed online:
Wachs, T.(1995). Relation to mild-to-moderate malnutrition to human development: correlational studies. Journal of Nutrition, 125, 2245–54.
Wolfe, WS & Frongillo, EA. (2001). Building household food-security measurement tools from the ground up. Food Nutr Bull; 22:5-12.
World Bank. Learning for all: investing in people’s knowledge and skills to promote development: World Bank Group Education Strategy 2020 Executive Summary, April 2011.http:// [cited 8 October 2011].
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186