The college years offer an opportunity for new experiences and different life style. They, in turn, play a main role in teaching students how to take on responsibilities; however, these may not necessarily contribute to improvement of both health status and academic performance of college students. Residency in Abu-Dies, in turn, may affect the latter variables significantly. In this study, we examined the relationship between residency and nutrition through examining some health behaviors (e. g. smoking, quality and quantity of healthy food, sleeping hours, caffeine consumption… nd its association with the academic performance among students ( 60 resident and n=140 non-resident Results show that although resident students expressed better health status, non-resident students have better nutrition patterns as eating house-cooked and balanced food on time. For the academic performance, there was no association either With residency or nutrition. Implications of this issue among resident and non-resident students are discussed. Key. njords Residency; academic performance; nutrition patterns Al- Quds University 2011 Faculty of medicine Page2 A1 ” Quds University
The transition from high school to college often results in drastic changes to environment and resources, and such changes likely impact health-related behaviors (Wengreen & Moncur, 2009). These health-related behaviors, in turn, are associated with short- and long-term health consequences including injury, violence and greater risk of heart disease (Scott-Sheldon et al. , 2008. Truly, a massive amount of researches have been carried out to explore the variables that impinge academic success on college campus in the general student population (Banitt, 2002; Department of Physiology, Osaka City
University Graduate School of Medicine, 2008; Scott-Sheldon et al. , 2008). Yet not enough studies have considered the effect of residency on both students’ nutrition and academic performance, while such studies; in fact, can obviously increase attention among college administrators (Afful-Broni et al, 2010). As mentioned earlier, grade point average (GPA) is one indicator of success and may be influenced greatly by health behaviors (Banitt, 2002) including nutrition patterns.
Evidence illustrates that better nutrition is positively associated with gains in education in many areas; i. e. more grades completed nd better performance on test scores. Students with short-run nutritional deficiencies are probably less able to pay attention and concentrate; and might have less energy for lessons, learning and homework (Berhman, 1996). The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine academic performance (group of medical first-year students, 2010-2011) as a function of nutrition patterns among resident and non-resident college students in Al-Quds university.
Consistent with prior research (Afful-Broni et alr 201 0); we didn’t expect resident students to perform better than non-residential students. If a elationship exists between good health A1 – Quds university page 3 behaviors and GPA, it may be profitable for counseling centers to focus on measures that may facilitate healthy behaviors among resident and non resident students as well (Banitt, 2002). Methods Participants and procedures Participants were 300 undergraduate students (57 % female, 43% males, M age = 20. 14 years, 48. 1 % non-resident students).
A cross-sectional observational study was conducted to examine academic performance as a function of nutrition patterns among resident and non-resident college students in Al-Quds University, Abu Dies in Palestine. Participants were recruited using random sample method at various venues on campus at the course of two days during May 2011. Most of the members were either 2nd- year (%29. 3) or 3rd-year students (%30). They were collected so that (%30. 7) were medical students, (%30. 7) were science and engineering students, the rest (%38. 7) were from other colleges.
Participants were asked to fill questionnaires that included questions about residency, nutrition patterns, personal health and health-related behaviors, study habits in addition to typical demographic questions (gender, age, home town, college year… . Measures Residency- residency was assessed by asking students whether they were resident or not, how often non-resident students visited their homes (described as more than once weekly, weekly, every two weeks, every month). They were asked about the time they spent on their way home, how many students shared an accommodation and whether this accommodation was healthy.
Nutrition- Participants were asked several questions regarding their nutrition patterns through two measures: quality of main meals (home-cooked food, fast food, and canned food), frequency of having meals on time and onsidering main food group represented by meat, milk, vegetables and candies. Academic performance- participants were asked about both their accumulative and Tawjihi averages. Besides, study patterns and frequencies were considered (e. g. hours they study daily or at weekend) Confounders- to avoid confounders, other aspects were highlighted; these include assessment of the participant health; i. e. leeping hours; health status, cigarette smoking and the number of caffeinated beverages. Data Analysis All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software version 18. 0. Means and standard deviations were used to describe and compare the istribution of continuous variables. Analysis of variance (ANOVA), an extension of the two sample t-test, and Chi-squared distributions were used to study health and academic performance among resident and non-resident students. All statistical tests conducted were two-sided with a type error rate at the level of 0. 05; p-values < 0. 05 were considered to be statistically significant.
Summary statistics (means and standard deviations, frequencies) were used to describe academic performance for the overall sample and by residency (n 160 resident, n 140 non-resident). Differences between esident and non-resident were examined using t-tests (for continuous measures) or chi-square analysis (for dichotomous and polytomous measures). Page 5 Results (%63. 2) of the students reported eating home-cooked food in their main meal A1 – Quds University while (%30. 1) of them reported eating fast food instead. Chi-square tests show that (%65) of the sample population stated eating their meals on time (p <O. 5). Besides, these tests show that a higher percent of non-resident students (%75. 6) significantly ate home-cooked food more freq uently than did resident students with a percent of (%48. ). Non-resident students were proved to care more likely about eating their meals on time compared to resident students, as indicated by Mann-Whitney test (p Independent t-tests significantly illustrate that non-resident students ate more balance diet, with an average of 3. 37 (SD = 1. 27), than did resident students, with an average of 2. 65 (SD = 1. 57). They also reported more caffeine consumption than did resident-students.
However, these tests show no significant difference between resident and non-resident students in cigarette smoking. As expected, results indicate that nutrition patterns of tudents may affect their health status; one way ANOVAs and Kruskal-Wallis tests suggest that following a balanced diet and having meals on times regularly would result in better health status. On the other hand, these tests oppose the idea that increased caffeine and cigarette consumption leads to problems concerning health status. Besides, according to Kruskal-Wallis test, there’s no significant correlation between sleeping hours and health status.
Furthermore, referring to prior researches (Wheaton, 2011 we expected that decreased sleeping hours during examination periods might be correlated to ealth problems; spearman test, however, turned to disagree with this suggestion and indicated that there’s no significant correlation between them. Meanwhile, Mann-Whitney test suggests a significance difference between resident and non-resident students in health status where the difference favors to err on the side of non-resident students who expressed better health conditions.
Chi-square test enhances the point that health problems and disease are associated with unhealthy accommodation conditions; these may be associated page 6 Al- Quds university 201 1 A1 – Quds with the presence of ill students in the same hostel. Wha& surprising that Mann-Whitney supports the trend that even health-related problems among resident students show no significant effect on the academic performance of these students. Besides, Kruskal-Wallis test proves health status and decreased sleeping hours during exams to have no association with academic performance.
Considering residency, Mann-Whitney results turned out to match with the paper’s hypothesis and indicated no significant differences in academic performance between resident and non-resident students. The former result may be unexpectedly surprising taking into account significant ifferences in both studying and nutrition habits for resident and non- resident students. However, KruskaI-WaIlis tests prove no significant correlation between nutrition habits and students’ academic performance.
They also refute the thought that either caffeine or cigarette consumption may alter academic performance. At the same time, Mann-Whitney test illustrates that being a resident student is significantly correlated to increased study hours a day; still, these variables have no significant effect on college students’ academic performance. Discussion In this study, we examined the association between nutrition patterns etween resident and non-resident students and their association with academic performance in a 300-student sample of Al-Quds University.
To study this association several health behaviors, study habits were measured, compared and assessed. Consistent to prior research (Bourdeaudhuij, 1997), it’s illustrated that both resident and non-resident students’ dietary habits may be influenced by other members sharing them the same accommodation; considering the home-oriented A1, Quds University 201 1 A1 ” Quds University Page 7 culture among the Palestinian family, parental effect on non-resident students’ nutrition seems to be obvious.
Thus, non-resident students are more likely to have balanced meals on time with their families as a whole. Besides, other researches show that homemade meals could satisfy students’ desire to partake in a nutritious diet and thus have meals on time more frequently and enjoy their food as well. However, considering resident- students, this study and related cohort researches (Collins, 201 0) reveal that these students have got a greater tendency to have fast food as their main meal since being away from their parents gives them much more freedom to eat what they want.
Collins study discusses that students tend to consider onvenience, taste, health, cost and time when decide when to have their meals. Due to time and financial constraints, resident students seem to have meals less enjoyable and this often leads to decisions that result in poor dietary quality, such as irregular meal patterns and dining at fast food restaurants. In addition, many perceived barriers that prevent resident students from preparing food by themselves, including time poverty, a perception of inadequate culinary knowledge, and insufficient financial resources (Collins 2010).
Fast food usually contains a narrow range of nutrients, and a steady diet of ast food proves to be insufficient for an adult and much less for a growing, learning and still developing teenager (Fontaine et al, 2007). This fact reflects the importance of nutrition education in health promotion. Since being good or bad, the habits built during this transition period seem to have lasting effects on our health later in life (Collins, 2010).
However, few programs have been successful in altering eating patterns between members living together; it’s not well understood to which member nutrition programs have to be addressed (Bourdeaudhuij, 1997). Proved researches (Yan, 2009) illustrate the significant relationship between ncreased caffeine consumption and higher smoking rates. Still, our study turned Al- Quds University 201 1 Page 8 out to refute the association between them. As shown in the results that although non-resident students indicated increased caffeine consumption compared to residents, they showed no significant increase in cigarette smoking.
On one side, this may be because cigarette smoking is influenced somehow by a student family; results of an exploratory study (Kegler, 2002) indicate that mainly in our Arabic societies youth appeared more concerned about their parents thinking less of them if they smoked than were youth rom other racial/ethnic groups; this, then, makes non-resident students who are under direct supervision of their parents to less likely to smoke compared to resident students.
In addition, other studies (Scragg et al, 2007) suggested that having a best friend who smoked had a very strong effect on daily smoking which is suggestive to the role of being resident with a best friend away from parents’ supervision. Furthermore, Yan’s study mentioned above showed that females express less cigarette smoking than males but still they may have similar caffeine consumption. Our study results in the fact that nutrition patterns affect students’ health tatus positively; that is eating balanced food having meals on time has a significant effect on students’ health status in general.
Clearly, eating balanced food means getting the right types and amounts of foods and drinks to supply nutrition and energy for maintaining body cells, tissues, and organs, and for supporting normal growth and development (Ilona et al, 2010). By contrast, consumption of cigarettes and caffeine does the opposite. Smoking cigarettes is so compelling because of the effects of nicotine. A stimulant, nicotine causes a temporary increase in alertness and a calm feeling. And it an be incredibly addictive. Some studies have found nicotine to be more highly addictive than cocaine or heroin.
Additionally, it suppresses the appetite, and smokers tend to keep weight off (Ross, 2001). Caffeine is a potent and quick-acting drug which produces an effect similar to the stress response in our bodies. Caffeine affects each person differently, depending university page 9 on individual circumstances such as weight, build, etc. It has an almost instant effect on your mind-body which will continue to influence your state for 6-8 hours afterwards (IFIC). lJnexpectedly, results turned out to refute an ssociation between sleeping hours and both health and accumulative average.
However, many scientific studies state that getting less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep each night increases the risk for developing diseases (Dignes). It was also shown that non-resident have better health conditions than resident students. This is suggestive to the role of parental care considering non-resident students which includes both healthy accommodation and other cook-ware. Taking residency into account, results state that health problems and disease were related to unhealthy accommodation conditions and to the presence of ill students in the same hostel.
On the one hand, unhealthy accommodations place a student in health-related risk regarding eating; sleeping and even living there (Jolls, 2001). On the other hand, living with ill students helps spread infection among members sharing the same hostel (Morgan, 2004). As the results indicate, there’s no significant difference in academic performance between resident and non-resident students. This sounds sensible since although resident students appeared to study more hours a day than non-resident students, the latter ones seem to express better health status.
However, this fact might be surprising as we expected non-resident tudents to express better academic performance since non-resident students experience parental supervision upon their studying hours (Lakshmi, 2006) in addition to familial psychological support and its effects on the student performance (Pingr 2005) compared to non-resident students have, resident students may feel partial alternative support from their friends and those sharing them their accommodation (Dzulkifli, 2011 Al- Quds university 2011 page 10 Still, this similarity in academic achievement might be less confusing if compared to the tiredness and exhaustion experienced by non-resident students travelling long distances daily. Considering the fact that resident students lack parental supervision that non-resident students experience, we expected non-resident students to be healthier than resident students. Results, however, illustrate that there’s no significant difference in health status of both. Still, non-resident students do not distinguish themselves on the measured variables related to smoking, rousing drinks and the average of hours they spend outdoors from resident students.
Although these findings give valuable insight into health behaviors in college students, several limitations should be noted. A major limitation of the study nvolves threats to external validity. The questioner was not tested for reliability and validity. In addition, as with any self-report measure, we relied on self-reported information including accumulative average, and may be biased by the limitations of memory or by the desire to conform to social demands or expectations (Schroder et al. , 2003a, 2003b), which threatens external validity ofthe findings. Also, there were more women (n =175) in the sample than men (n = 125) which could have greatly skewed the results.
The ability to generalize our current findings to other campuses is limited because he small size of the sample (only 300) and generalization of the results would require studies involving a large sample. In the sum, the study confirms the idea that there’s no association between nutrition patterns among resident and non-resident students and their academic performance. Although there’s a significant difference between resident and non-resident students in dietary and study habits; in general, non-resident students seem to follow better nutrition patters; however, resident students apparently express AI- Quds university 201 1 page 11 better study habits. These finding should help direct student’s-decision aking and change his attitude towards accommodation throughout his years in university.