This study is pertinent due to the fact that most students study hard yet they do not really perform as expected and this brings about disappointments. Relevance has therefore been placed on their eating habit which may assist them attain higher academic performance. This study was carried out to examine impact of healthy feeding on the academic performance of undergraduate student in Benue state university. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 300 students from Benue State university, Nigeria. The study made use of a questionnaire tagged “Healthy Feeding Scale” developed by the researcher.
- Background of the study
Most students today are finding it difficult to concentrate and do well in their studies and because of this, academic performance is threatened. Many of the academic problem students face is fueled by lack of healthy feeding habit. Academic performance is measured through continuous assessments and examinations. Academic performance can be seen as a problem when students are not able to reach the short-term or long-term goals in their education. When students do not perform well in school, it can be seen to be that the students did not study hard for the examination or test and also can be caused by poor concentration in school, poor memory, poor ability to follow through topics and also poor coordination in class. Academic performance refers to a student’s success in meeting their short-term or long-term goals in education which could be a success or failure. Poor academic performance according to Aremuand Sokan(2013) is a performance that is adjudged by the examinee or test and significant others as falling below expected standard. When studies perform poorly, it could be the fault of the students, the teacher or even the school. The main aim of going to school is to be able to achieve great success academically like a university degree, semester examinations. Therefore, if a student is not able to achieve anything academically during the years in school, there is a problem. Some of the problems preventing a student from achieving the desire academic performance could be lack of concentration, poor memory, poor ability to follow up, poor coordination, the student finding it hard to study, poor exercise, poor nutrition, poor eating habit and so on. Additionally, Morakinyo (2013) submits that it could be due to the falling level of academic performance due to the teacher’s non-use of verbal reinforcement strategy. This shows that the school itself can contribute to a student’s academic performance. Some of the problems of academic performance can be linked to eating habit. Healthy feeding can be seen as the way a person eats, considered in terms of the type of food eaten, in what quantity and when (Collins English dictionary 2016). It can then be opined that poor healthy feeding is the way people eat, the food they eat, and when they eat them which affects their health negatively. There are some unhealthy feeding habit experienced by students almost daily including but not limited to skipping breakfast, late night eating, drinking little water, eating large quantity of food and eating during activities. For skipping of breakfast, studies show that skipping breakfast is negatively related to scholastic achievement (Burrow,Whatnall, Patterson &Hutchesson, 2017). Water is good for the body but students tend to drink little or no water but rather take a lot of soda or soft drinks or any liquid ith a lot of sugar. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day which boosts energy level and prepares one for the tasks ahead. Skipping breakfast may lead to fatigue, sleeping in class, lack of concentration and attention and not participating actively in class activities (Burrow, Whatnall, Patterson &Hutchesson, 2017). It was observed that many students prefer soft drinks over water and this can endanger their health as well as academic performance as Schwecherl (2014) rightly pointed out that water flushes the kidney leading to less stomach ache and prevents pains in the muscles and joints.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The provision of good and nourishing food can have a positive impact on both the attendance and the understanding of the students. Omission of breakfast can influence intellectual capacity and conduct in young people, meal patterns and nutrient composition can over the long run apply to have helpful or adverse effects as these may connect with cognition (Bellisle, 2014). Therefore, in these many factors, researchers wish to know the effect of a healthy diet on academic performance. Breakfast as a component of a healthy diet and way of life decidedly impacts children and students’ well-being and general prosperity, particularly including supplements rich in whole grains and high fiber, fresh fruits, and dairy items (Rampersaud Et al 2015). Students who can eat a balanced diet do better in their exams than those who do not. Similarly, nourished students show better performance as compared to malnourished students. It is in view of this that the researcher intend to investigate the impact of healthy feeding on the academic performance of undergraduate students in Benue state university.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The study has one main objective which is sub-divided into general and specific objective, the general objective is to examine the impact of healthy feeding on the academic performance of undergraduate students in Benue state university, the specific objectives are;
- To examine the effect of healthy feeding on the academic performance of undergraduate student in Benue state university
- To ascertain if there is any significant relationship between healthy feeding and student academic performance in Benue state
- To examine the impact of healthy feeding on student health and academic performance
- To proffer suggested solutions to the identified problem
- RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
- Does healthy feeding has effect on the academic performance of undergraduate student in Benue state university?
- Is there any significant relationship between healthy feeding and student academic performance in Benue state?
- Does healthy feeding have any impact on student health and academic performance?
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
H0: There is no significant relationship between healthy feeding and student academic performance in Benue state
H1: There is a significant relationship between healthy feeding and student academic performance in Benue state
H0: Healthy feeding does not have any impact on student health and academic performance
H2: Healthy feeding does have an impact on student health and academic performance
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the faculty of health Benue state university as the findings will help in exploring the benefit of healthy feeding on the academic performance of the student, Furthermore, this study is significant due to the fact that it pays attention to information on academics; the intellectual capability, the physical and social wellbeing of undergraduate students based on what they feed on. the findings will also be useful to researcher who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the study will be a reference point to further studies, the study will be of importance to student, teachers, lecturer’s academia’s and the general public as the findings of the study will contribute to the pool of existing literature on the subject matter and also contribute to knowledge.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the impact of healthy feeding on the academic performance of undergraduate students in Benue state university, but in the course of the study, there are some factors that limit the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Healthy feeding Includes a variety of protein foods such as seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, nuts, and seeds. Is low in added sugars, sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol.
The term eating habits refers to why and how people eat, which foods they eat, and with whom they eat, as well as the ways people obtain, store, use, and discard food. Different organism exhibits different types of feeding habits
An undergraduate is a college or university student who’s not a graduate student. After high school, you can become an undergraduate. Undergraduates are students of universities and colleges
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.