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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2003;12(2):186-92.

Academic performance of Korean children is associated with dietary behaviours and physical status.

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Department of Foods and Nutrition, Yongin University, Yongin, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to obtain a fuller understanding of the association of dietary behaviours, physical status and socio-economic status with academic performance in Korean teenagers. The subjects in this study were 6,463 boys and girls, in grade 5, 8, and 11 in Korea. A self-administered questionnaire and the food-frequency form were used. Grade point average (GPA), height, weight, and physical fitness score for the year were recorded from the school record. The academic performance of students was strongly associated with dietary behaviours, especially with regularity of three meals even after control for parent's education level. Regular breakfast and lunch were more important in grades 5 and 8, while regular dinner was more related with academic performance in grade 11. Small, positive associations of height and physical fitness to academic performance were also found. The relative importance of regularity of meals was greater than that of socio-economic status and physical status in older teenagers. The results of this study suggest that accommodation of better dietary environment and nutrition education for three regular meals is recommended.

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