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
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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
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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
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