1.1           Background to the Study

The potential for health to improve cognitive function and physical performance among students has received attention by researchers and policy makers (Anyika, Uwaegbute, Olojede and Nwamarah, 2009). However, studies of dietary intake and physical performance have typically focused on hunger, malnutrition, and micronutrient deficiency (Keeley and Fox, 2009.). The predominant approach to studying dietary intake has focused on the role of individual nutrients or foods (Gerber, 2001). But students do not consume single nutrients but combinations of foods (Ghosh and Saha, 2013). This dietary intake has significant effect on the psychomotor activity of students during school hours. Poor diet quality and overall health status of students are among the prominent factors implicated for poor physical performance during leisure period or sports.

Students’ food choices, nutrient intake and overall nutritional status have been reported to be affected by factors such as the quest for independence and acceptance by peers, increased mobility, greater time spent at school and/or work activities, and preoccupation with self-image (Jenkins &Horner 2005). In addition, studies have shown that certain socio-demographic factors such as age, sex, ethnicity, geographical location, educational status of household heads and socio-economic factors often influence dietary behaviour developed by adolescents (Godwin, et al, 2006). Similarly, the review of McClain et al (2009) revealed some psychosocial correlates of healthy eating such as knowledge, intention to eat healthy, perceived modelling and norms.

Lack of breakfast has been associated with feelings of headache, restlessness, being irritable, and inability to concentrate well on studies and physical performance. Eating breakfast has been associated with higher energy levels, better learning ability, better attention span, higher grades, and significantly fewer behavioural and emotional problems (Kleinman, 1998). Apart from daily breakfast consumption, having regular three main meals of the day has also been reported to have positive correlation with academic performance. Kim, Frongillo, Han (2003) reported a positive association between consumption of regular meals and physical performance. Another important dietary pattern consistent with physical performance is fruit intake. Florence, Asbridge and Vengellers (2008); MacLellan, Taylor and Wood (2008) , Abudayya, Shi and Holmoo-Ottesen (2011) all reported that increased in fruit and vegetable intake and increase in dietary quality were significantly associated with physical performance.


1.2       Statement of the Problem

Dietary intake affects all age groups, but school age students tend to be among those most at risk of developing deficiencies. Poor dietary intake by Nigerian students may have the negative impact on their growth, development and physical performance. Nutritional deficiencies have far reaching consequences, especially in the development of physical features. To sustain life and maintain health, students require different nutrients. Carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fibre are known as macronutrients and are required in large amounts as they are energy giving foods. However, it has been noted that Nigerian students remain a neglected population; consequently, the needs of this group are often ignored. To ensure proper growth, development and maturation, students need an adequate energy intake. Students’ basal metabolic rate, physical activity and pubertal growth are the factors influencing their energy needs.

Unfortunately, the correlation between dietary intake and physical performance has been highly under-researched. This study therefore attempts to examine the influence of dietary intake on physical performance of secondary school students in Nigeria. It will use the research to help develop possible steps that schools and parents can take to ensure that the dietary adhere to the high standards of federal nutrition guidelines that are based upon the latest research.

1.3             Research Objectives

This general purpose of this study is to examine the influence of dietary intake on physical performance of secondary schools students. Specifically, the objectives are to:

1.    Find out whether healthy dietary pattern have any effect on physical performance of students

2.   Analyse how various factors could influence students’ unhealthy dietary pattern and how they affect their poor dietary intake

3.   Investigate how students’ poor food choices affect poor dietary intake

4.   Examine the impact of students’ poor dietary intake on their poor physical performance


1.4             Research Questions

The study seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. Does healthy dietary pattern have any effect on physical performance of students?
  2. Would factors influencing unhealthy dietary pattern have any effect on students’ poor dietary intake?
  3. Dostudents’poor food choices affect poor dietary intake?
  4. Would students’ poor dietary intake have any impact on effect poor physical performance


1.5             Research Hypotheses

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1.6             Scope of the Study

This study investigates the influence of dietary intake on physical performance of secondary schools students. The study is limited to students at secondary school level who are between 12 –18 years of age in Obudu, Cross River State. The study the population sample will be drawn from students that are living with their parents, in order to reflect home determinants of dietary intake. The study did not attempt to indicate the nutrient intake of all students in the state as the topic suggest, but only sample of students the selected schools.

1.7             Significance of the Study

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1.8             Limitations of the Study

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1.9             Definition of Terms

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  1. Hi, I have a similar approved topic as ” Effects of good nutrition on student academic performance “. How can you help?

    • Hello Ibrahim, the work on Dietary Intake is sufficient for your project. It cost N5000. You can pay to: OMOTERE TOPE
      GTBank (0050329679.).
      EcoBank (5451074661).
      Access Bank (0037853426.).
      Stanbic Bank (0008940792).
      Send your email, name and topic

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