Eat Better, Study Harder, Improve Grades

Nutrition and diet lead to better grades

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Being healthy might be the last thing college students think about especially with new freedom, challenges, and people. Finding the time to even eat can be difficult in a new environment.

A study finds college students aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables - and that is an understatement according to the results of the study.

"Eat fruits and veggies so your brain can function."

Brad Cardinal, Ph.D., a professor of exercise and sport science at Oregon State University, found that male students had a total of five servings per week while female students had about four servings a week.

Even though the females had better eating habits like eating in the dining hall, reading nutrition labels and skipping fewer meals, their diets were still lower in fiber.

Students need to be eating at least five servings a day and these kids are getting that in a week, Cardinal explains. Kids are skipping meals which would make up for the lack of fruits and vegetables, but even accounting for those factors, some kids were still not eating one serving of fruits and vegetables per day, Cardinal says.

More than 30 percent of daily calories in participants diets came from fat, which is more than the recommended amount from the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The ADA recommends 30 percent of calories come from fat at the end of the week.

Cardinal believes this is due to a lack of information. Home economics and nutrition classes are being removed from schools because of budget cuts so kids are growing up not knowing how to be self-sustaining, Cardinal says.

People aren't understanding the basic fundamentals of how to eat well, Cardinal said. There's a cooking camp at OSU, that teaches kids the basic skills every child should have - how to shop, cook and clean after themselves, he explains.

Those classes need to re-incorporate back into school because many have completely disappeared in the K-12 system, Cardinal suggests.

The study included 528 college students of both sexes who participated in surveys. Most students were first-year students.

The research is published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 19, 2011
Last Updated:
August 22, 2011