When you combine this with the fact that teens spend the majority of their waking hours in a classroom, it makes sense that what they are eating, drinking and doing plays an important part in their success at school. Here’s why:
Several studies have shown that nutritional status can directly affect the cognitive ability of teenagers, and that a higher quality diet is associated with better performances on exams and some improvement in a student’s academic performance.
Access to nutrition that incorporates protein, carbohydrates, amino acids and glucose has been shown to improve students’ energy levels and also improve their perception, intuition and reasoning. Conversely, nutritional deficiencies in zinc, iron, vitamin B and Omega-3 can affect concentration and learning abilities, and diets high in saturated fats can also negatively impact the brain, influencing learning and memory.
There are also links between nutrition and behaviour. Access to a decent breakfast in particular, can enhance a student’s psychosocial well-being, whereas poor nutrition can leave teenagers susceptible to illness or lead to headaches and stomach problems, resulting in school absences.