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Healthcare 2017, 5(4), 60; doi:10.3390/healthcare5040060

Associations between Dietary Intake and Academic Achievement in College Students: A Systematic Review

School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, and Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
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Academic Editor: Sampath Parthasarathy
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract

The impact of diet on academic achievement is a growing area of research. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the current evidence examining dietary intake and academic achievement in college/university students. Eight electronic databases were searched for studies published in English to January 2016. To be included, studies must have been conducted in higher education (i.e., college, university) students, reported measures of dietary intake and academic achievement, and reported the association between these. Data were extracted using a standardised tool, and studies were assessed for methodological quality. Seven studies were included, with four rated as positive quality, and the remaining three rated as neutral. Most studies were cross-sectional (n = 4), and conducted in America (n = 5). The most common dietary outcomes were fruit and vegetable (n = 3), and breakfast consumption (n = 3). Standardised grade point average (GPA) was the most common measure of academic achievement (n = 4). Five studies reported small to moderate significant positive associations between diet and academic achievement, including for breakfast, regular meal consumption, and meeting national recommendations for fruit intake. This review examines the current evidence regarding diet and academic achievement in college/university students. The results demonstrate that few studies exist in this population group. Future studies should consider the use of validated dietary assessment methods, comprehensive measures of overall diet, and use standardised assessment and reporting of academic outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: diet; academic achievement; university students; college students; systematic review diet; academic achievement; university students; college students; systematic review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Burrows, T.L.; Whatnall, M.C.; Patterson, A.J.; Hutchesson, M.J. Associations between Dietary Intake and Academic Achievement in College Students: A Systematic Review. Healthcare 2017, 5, 60.

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