2012-2013 Research Projects
Off-Campus College Students: Does Location of Eating Venues Influence Academic Success?
Why do students who live off of campus choose to eat at on campus venues or off campus venues throughout the work week? How does the GPA of students who eat frequently at on campus facilities compared to the GPA of students who eat off campus?
To determine an association between the type of food venue and meal frequency (times per week) for undergraduate college students who live off campus and their academic performance using a cross-sectional study.
It can be hypothesized that students who eat at on campus facilities frequently will have higher GPAs than students who do not eat on campus frequently. In this test, eating at on campus facilities frequently would be determined as three or more times per week.
College students are under constant pressure to perform well in their academics. The lifestyle choices that this population makes often have direct impacts on their academic success. Proper diet and exercise routines have been shown to have a positive effect on student performance. However, little is known about the relationship between the types of places students eat and their academic performance and if it is possible that students who eat at on-campus restaurants more frequently perform better in their academics than students who eat at on-campus restaurants less frequently.
This study looked at data from 72 college students at the University of Kentucky (26 males and 46 females), all of whom lived off campus. An electronic, self-reporting survey was emailed to all of the participants and asked the students to report on the types of restaurants they ate at each week, the frequency that they ate at these restaurants, their cumulative GPA, and the level of pride that they had for their academic record. The reportings were evaluated using the Microsoft Excel 2010 descriptive statistics, regression analysis, and t-test functions.
The data concluded that the correlation between self-reported student performance and frequency of restaurant types where they ate increased in the following order: fast-food (r value -.375), sit-down (r value -.198), on-campus (r value -.106), fast-casual (r value -.062), and at home (r value .284). It also showed that the correlation between GPA and frequency of restaurant types where they ate increased in the following order: sit-down (r value -0.247), fast-food (r value -.115), home (r value -.029), fast casual (r value .132), and on campus (r value .150). It is important to know that all r values were significant except the correlation with frequency of meals eaten at home and both the self-reported student performance and GPA (p-values of .097 and .826, respectfully).
The results suggest that there is not a very strong correlation between the frequency of where students eat throughout the day and their overall academic performance, be it their GPA or the level of pride that they have for their academic performance. However, the relationship between GPA and how often students ate at on-campus restaurants showed the highest overall correlation.