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Nutrición Hospitalaria

Print version ISSN 0212-1611

Abstract

MARTINEZ-GOMEZ, D.  and  AFINOS STUDY GROUP et al. Gender-specific influence of health behaviors on academic performance in Spanish adolescents: the AFINOS study. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2012, vol.27, n.3, pp.724-730. ISSN 0212-1611.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3305/nh.2012.27.3.5633.

Introduction: New paradigms based on the multifactorial etiology of chronic diseases and behavioral outcomes suggest that a combination of health behaviors may have more impact on the outcome of interest than any single factor. Objective: To examine the independent and combined influence of four health behaviors on school performance in Spanish adolescents. Methods: A total of 1825 Spanish adolescents reported their grades in Language and Literature (LL) and Math. Body mass index, family structure and school-related factors (attitude to school, need to repeat > 1-yr and absenteeism) were self-reported. Adolescents were dichotomized as healthy or unhealthy based on meeting or not meeting lifestyle recommendations on physical activity, TV viewing, sleep and fruit intake. Each adolescent was also scored according to the number of healthy recommendations fulfilled. Results: In boys, there were no associations between health behaviors and academic performance. Good academic performance in girls was associated with physical activity (P < 0.05) or fruit consumption (P < 0.05). Moreover, girls who scored 3-4 health behaviors showed higher odds of passing LL (OR = 3.18, P < 0.001), Math (OR = 1.75, P = 0.028) or LL+Math (OR = 2.32, P = 0.001) compared with those with 0-1 health behaviors. All the analyses were adjusted by weight status, family context and different school-related factors. Conclusions: A combination of health behaviors may have a positive influence on academic performance in adolescent girls.

Keywords : Academic performance; Physical activity; Sedentary patterns; Sleep; Nutrition; Adolescents.

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