Impact of Teaching Food And Nutrition On Senior Secondary School Students Performance


Impact of Teaching Food And Nutrition On Senior Secondary School Students Performance


This research study the effects of Nutrition on students academic performance in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The study was delimited to all secondary schools students in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State which 120 respondents were randomly selected as sample.
The nutritional effects were reviewed. Self constructed questionnaire validated and considered appropriate by the researcher’s supervisor was used for data collection with the help of train research assistance, the researcher went ahead the schools to administer the instrument and collected them back. The retrieved questionnaire forms were screened.
The data collected was analysed by frequency counts and simple percentage for bio-data and chi-square analysis were used for the variables (research question under the study). The study reveals that Students who have access to require balance diet perform better than those who did not have, Nourished students perform better than mal- nourished students, Socio economic status has significant influence on nutritional intake, Students who free from nutritional disorder perform better than students with nutritional disorder and Food availability has significant influence on academic performance.

Table of content

    1.1 Introduction
    1.2 Statement of the problem
    1.3 Purpose of the study
    1.4 Research question
    1.5 Research hypothesis
    1.6 Significant of the study
    1.7 Delimitation of the study
    1.8 Definition of terms
    2.1 Review of literature
    2.1 Concept of Nutrition
    2.3 Effects of Nutrition
    2.4 Parents socio economic status
    2.5 Balance diet
    2.6 Food availability
    2.7 Knowledge of nutrition
    2.8 Nutrients deficiency/excess
    3. 1 Research method
    3.2 Research design
    3.3 Population
    3.4 Sample and sampling technique
    3.5 Instrument of data collection
    3.6 Validity of instrument
    3.7 Reliability of the instrument
    3.8 Method of data collection
    3.9 Method of data analysis
    4.1 Analysis and discussion
    Summary, conclusion and recommendation
    5.1 Summary
    5.2 Conclusion
    5.3 Recommendation
  6. References/Questionnaire


1.1 Background of the study

No nation can afford to waste its nation resources, the intellectual power of it people. But that is precisely what is happening where micro nutrient deficiencies permanently damage the brain and where anemia and short-term hunger limit children’s performance at school. In an educational world filled with failing schools and apathetic students, state of board of education have search for answer on how to increase test scores, examinations performances and create school systems where all student receive the best education possible. One of the possible solutions to improve academic performance is to look the nutritional substance of what school aged students are eating each day as they struggle day by day learning and the effect of such nutrition on their academic performance.
Nutrition is a fundamental pillar of human life, health and development across the entire life span. From the earliest stages of foetal development, at birth and into adulthood and old ages, proper food and god nutrition are essential for survival, physical growth, mental development, performance and productivity health and well being (FAO/WHO, 1992, WHO 2000). The role of nutrition in human life as well as in academic performance is like the role of “fuel” in motor vehicle. Our cells are like microscopic energy making machines and just like machines, they needs to be properly maintained to remain in good working order, when your cells don’t receive the correct nutritional fuel, they become sluggish and insufficient.
Some people believes was that food is anything to overcome hunger, the consumption of insufficient diet i.e. non balance diet food, which leads to some malnutrition diseases, such as; obesity, pellagra, night blindness, rickets, goiter, anemia, etc. the relationship between nutrition and cognition as well as psychosocial behavior, which determine academic performance is not well address in the past research, but some exist studies only look into the nutritional benefit of many proteins, vitamins and all other food substances. Dietary patterns in infancy and cognitive and neuropsychological function in childhood, Gale, (2010) journal of child psychology and psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 50 (7) : 816-823, 2010, suggest that improving young children’s diet may benefit cognitive development. Our school has the potential to play vital role in preparing and sustaining our student’s potential leaning ability and reduce the effect of nutrition on academic performance of students, as well as benefitting their social behaviors by supplying nutritious breakfast and lunches during school days. In accordance with the School Nutrition Association, current pattern require that SBP serve the following on daily basics (SNA, 2008).
1. One half to two ounce of meat/meat alternatives
2. 1-2 serving of grains/bread
3. Three quarters of a cup of fruit/ vegetable
4. 8 Ounces of milk
Though some schools have no access to school mid-day meal but there should be an health education program to counsel the students, parents, schools cafeteria and those that are selling foods in the school compound to be aware of the types of food and reasons those essential nutrients should be present in the food and proper checking or monitoring should be done by the school administrator.
Poverty has been the most important factor affecting diet and nutrition of people living in Owo local government area, even though their major occupation was farming, the major consumption food was carbohydrate, that is full of starch such as; garri, elubo, eba, fufu, yam, cocoyam, pap etc and they also lack the knowledge about the arrangement, the way to consume the necessary diet at appropriate time at the villages, most of them are illiterate, and they lack knowledge of nutrition. “A good eater must be a good man, for a good eater must have a good digestion, and a good digestion depends upon a good conscience”, Benjamin Disreali, (Microsoft Encarta, 2009). Federation of African Nutrition Societies, 2nd FANUS 2011 meeting in collaboration with Nigeria Nutrition Societies, information conference centre Abuja, Ngozi Nnam, Sanus explain needs for assessment for professional training in nutrition education (NEAC). Nutrition training is essential so that they will be able to understand the effect of nutrition if not properly taken.
The lack of reliable recent census statistics in Nigeria complicated the process of mapping socio economic variable in Nigeria. Nigeria has been far less successful in combating its high level of malnutrition, although the Rome Declaration on food Security (1996) states the need for adequate access to safe and nutritious food. IFPRI (2011) warns that unless more aggressive measure are taken, progress against malnutrition is likely to slow down, yet malnutrition levels in Nigeria have not changed over the decade. In fact, anthropomorphic studies reported in SOFI (1999), put Nigeria amongst the ten countries with the highest incidence of underweight, stunted and wasted children under five years per 1000 birth (1995 figures).
The important tool to help improve the student achievement and their academic performance is to ensure that students are safe, drug fee, resilient and healthy which is the centre to improve academic performance. How can students healthy without knowledge of nutrition, without good nutrition or balance diet. According to WHO (1946), “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not mere absence of diseases and infirmity”. Qualities of good health include; freedom from disease, normal systems and body functions, health of mind and emotion, adequate diet which is the central tendency and master of all qualities, according to says which says “an hungry man is an angry man, so therefore, if a student is hungry, him/her is not in a state in a state of healthy of mind and emotion, nutrition can also control the immune system of the body to achieve “freedom from diseases” and normal systems (digestion and excretory system) and bodily functions. Growing numbers of children are coming to school with hunger, non balance diet and micronutrients diseases. Improper nutrition has a link to many varieties of disease such as impairment of intellect, obesity, extreme weight lost, stunted growth, weakened resistance to infection, pellagra, dermatitis rickets, diarrhea, anemia beriberi, and scurvy e.t.c.
Undernourished children (low weigh for age) tend to be enrolled later in school than better-nourished children. This could be because parents deem shorter children to be young, because they do not believe the children are physically large enough to attend school, or perhaps because they are investing more in better-nourished children. In any case, late enrollment compounds the problems of intellectual impairment caused by nutritional deficits. Nutrition may affect both physical, mental and emotional challenge of children and may also lead to children and may also lead to brain retardation.


In an educational world filled with failing schools and apathetic students, this has generated a lot of controversy from concerned bodies, such as teachers, parents and governments. People believes was, it is the role of the government, if nutrition is to be improve, while says parent and teachers have their own role to play. One can then ask the question “what is the effect of nutrition on student academic performance.


The study intends to find out the effectiveness of nutrition on students academic performance. The purposes of the study are to find out;
1. The impact of balanced diet on student’s academic performance.
2. To analyse the effect of nutrition on physical development, skeletal development, body index and
3. The effect of malnutrition on student academic performance
4. To analyse the effect of nutritional disorder on academic performance
5. The influence of these factors on student nutrition, which are parental socio-economic status, Advertisement, Nutritional education and food availability.

1.4 Research Question

1. Does parent socio-economic status has any role on students academic performance
2. What role do balance diet play to ensure proper students academic performance
3. Does food availability has any influence on students academic performance
4. Can knowledge of nutrition has any influence on students academic performance

1.5 Research Hypothesis

1. Parent socio-economic status will not have any significant difference in students academic performance
2. Balance diet will not have any significant difference on students academic performance
3. Food availability will not have any significant difference on student academic performance
4. Knowledge of nutrition will not have any significant difference on students academic performance

1.6 The significance of the study

The study when completed will test the effect of nutrition on student’s academic performance.
Furthermore, this study will find out some of the health related diseases that are associated with nutrition and nutritional diseases noted from students in Owo local government area, Ondo state. Solution and prevention will also be preferred to some health problem associated with nutrition. They will also have the knowledge about diseases associated with nutrition and its effect to academic performance.
It is hoped, therefore, that the findings of the study will be value to the state and the local governments in their effort to promote good health and nutritional services to students in Owo local government area, ondo state. This study will enable student s, parents and teachers to have the knowledge of how to manage the little available resources to meet up with the Nutritional Association Current Meal Pattern Requirement. It will also serve as reference point to the other researchers.

1.7 Delimitations of the study

The study will be delimiting to secondary schools students in Owo local government area, Ondo state. This project will also cover both male and female secondary schools students in Owo local government area, Ondo state.

1.8 Definitions of terms

1. Nutrition: is the science that deals with all the various aspect of which food is composed and the way in which proper nourishment is brought about
2. Nutrition disorder: refers to as lack of procedures caused by nutritional imbalance, either over nutrition or under nutrition
3. Malnutrition: the condition caused by an improper balance between what an individual eats and he requires to maintain health.


2.1 Review of literature

This review of literature was conducted on the effect of nutrition on student’s academic performance among secondary schools students in Owo local government area, Ondo state. Searches of journal, data bases and websites, were connected. The search produces a wealth of literature from range of professional disciplines, including medicine, public health, sociology and psychology. The related literature will be reviewed under the following sub-headings;
1. Concepts of nutrition
2. Effects of nutrition
3. Parent socio-economic status
4. Balance diet
5. Food availability
6. Knowledge of nutrition

2.2 Concept of nutrition

Nutrition is a fundamental pillar of human life, health and development across the entire life span. From the earliest stage of foetal development, at birth, during infancy, childhood, adolescence, into adulthood and old age, proper food and good nutrition are essential for survival, physical growth, mental development, performance and productivity, health and well being. It is an essential foundation of human being and national development (WHO, 2002)
Nutrition is the study of food in relation to the physiological processes that depend on absorption by the body (Growth, energy production, repairs of the body tissue etc). The science of nutrition includes the study of diets and of deficiency diseases. (Concise Medical Dictionary, 6th Edition). In hospitals, nutrition may refer to the food requirement of patients, including nutritional solution deliver via any IV (intravenous) or IG (intra gastric) tube.
Nutrition also involve identifying how certain diseases, conditions or problems may be caused by dietary factors, such as poor diet (malnutrition), food fallergies, metabolic diseases, etc. The human body requires seven major types of nutrients. A nutrient is a source of nourishment, an ingredient in a food e.g protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin, mineral, fiber and water. Life styles have change considerable over the years. With the hurried life style of day’s families, quickly and less nutritional meals have become typical, and adolescents are adopting these unhealthy eating habits.
What nutrients do children need?
There are a number of nutrients that individual, particularly the young, need to ensure proper development and health. Children in the UK are falling short of meeting some of their daily nutritional requirements (scientific Advisory committee, 2005). The basic for the nutritional requirements for children and adolescents is debated. In fact, some researches propose moving to measures such as the “functional effects of food and concepts such as optimal nutrition, which take into account the prevention of particular negative health outcomes ( Aggett, 2004).
Generally, it is the management and optimization of nutrients that amounts to a healthy diet. In fact, there are no bad food, only badly managed diets. For example, in an investigation of the relationship between the percentage of energy consumed from fact, had a negative effect on the intake of other nutrients such as zinc, retinol, iron and vitamin c (Rogers et al., 2002). Below is a summary of nutrients traditionally considered important in certain amounts for a healthy diet (British Nutrition Foundation, 2005)
Zinc is found in protein rich foods, such as meat, shellfish, dairy products, bread and cereals. It is found to help with the production of new cells and enzymes. It helps process protein, fat and carbohydrate and with the healing wounds, however, excess zinc can lead to anemia and weaking of bones.
Iron is found in liver, meat, beans nuts, dried fruit, whole grains (brown rice) soya bean flour and dark leafy vegetables, iron helps with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body.
Sugars (glucose/sucrose)
Sugars, such as sucrose, fructose, and maltose, are naturally found in fruit and milk, but are added to many other manufactured foods.
Carbohydrates are found in sugars and starch and area major sources of energy. In terms of sugars, there are two types; extrinsic, not part of the cellular make up of the food, e.g. , in whole fruits and vegetables. Starch can be found in item such as potatoes and bread.
Thiamin (vitamin B1)
Thiamin is found in pork, vegetables (especially peas), milk, cheese, fresh and dried fruit, eggs, whole grain breads and some breakfast cereals. It helps to break down and release energy from the food that we eat and also helps to maintain nerves and muscles tissue.
Essentially fatty acids
There are two categories of essential fatty acids; unsaturated fat found in only fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, sunflower and vegetable oils and saturated or trans- fat, found in meat, cheese, butter and pastry. Essential fatty acids help the body to absorb vitamins and are also a source of energy. However, too much fat, particularly saturated and trans-fat, leads to weight gain and increased cholesterol in the blood that lead to heart disease.
Sodium chloride (found in salt)
The amount of sodium needed can easily be obtained from a healthy diet. Too much can raise blood pressure, potentially leading to heart disease and stroke.
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate found in plants and is important for digestion.
Protein is essential for growth and repair of body. The main sources of protein include meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, cereals and cereal products (e.g bread), nuts.
Calcium is mainly important for the development and maintenance of bones and teeth. The primary sources in the UK are milk, cheese and other dairy products.
Vitamin A (Retinol)
Vitamin A is important for the function of the skin and mucous membrane. It is also essential for vision and the immune system. It is related to cell differentiation and thus is crucial for growth and development. Vitamin A is always found in liver, milk, cheese and butter and it can also be found in vegetable such as carrots and leafy vegetables.
Vitamin C
Vitamin C is responsible for the formation of connective tissues found in skin, cartilage and bones and thud is part of the healing process from injury. It is also implicated the development of blood vessels and in neurological functions. It is mostly found in fruit and vegetables, but can also be sourced in milk and liver
As with vitamin A, folate is important for normal cell division that preludges growth and development. It is also partly responsible for the formation of blood cells. Folates are found in liver, yeast extract, orange juice and green leafy vegetables.
Although, nutritional requirements varies between individuals and at different stages of health. It varies with age, gender and stage of health. Individual requirement depends not only how much of particular nutrient the respondent needs to successfully digest, but also on their ability to absorb and make use of each type of nutrient, (British nutrition foundation, 2005).

2.3 Effects of Nutrition

The effects of nutrition on student’s academic performance maybe difficult to be discuss, but for the purpose of this study, discussion will be base on this area;
a. Sight, hearing and speech
b. Motor skills
c. Skeletal development
d. Body mass index and obesity.


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