2012-2013 Research Projects
How is the grade point average of a full time college student at the University of Kentucky affected by the consumption of breakfast before class? How is the grade point average of a full time college student at the University of Kentucky affected by the nutritional value of the foods they choose to eat for breakfast?
1) To determine the correlation between the consumption of breakfast Monday thru Friday during a typical week of classes, and the grade point average of full time college students at the University of Kentucky using a cross-sectional survey.
2) To determine the correlation between type of breakfast food chosen Monday thru Friday during a typical week of classes, and the grade point average of full time college students at the University of Kentucky using a cross-sectional survey.
1) College Students that consume breakfast, during a typical Monday thru Friday of classes, will have a higher grade point average than college students that do not consume breakfast.
2) College Students that eat a nutritional breakfast, during a typical Monday thru Friday of classes, will have a higher grade point average than college students that consume a high calorie, high fat breakfast
Over the past several years the correlation between breakfast intake and the GPA of students has become more widely studied. Students that eat breakfast before class have been found to have an average GPA between 3.1-4.0. However, most research to date has been done on middle school students and the school breakfast program. Therefore, there have not been many studies that specifically compare college students that eat breakfast and those who do not, to that students GPA. In conclusion, research comparing a college students breakfast intake, and the nutritional quality of that breakfast, to their self- reported GPA, is needed to determine if this correlation exists in older students.
Data was collected from 51 undergraduate college students at the University of Kentucky (14 males and 37 females). Study subjects ranged from age 18-30, with the average age at 21.5. Data was collected by randomly distributing an anonymous cross-sectional survey to students at the University of Kentucky. The survey recorded the participants self-reported GPA as well as their frequency of breakfast consumption, which foods they most often consume for breakfast, when and where they consume breakfast, and their thoughts of the importance of breakfast consumption and nutritional quality. Statistical analysis was performed in Microsoft excel.
The data concluded that 82.4% of the study participants consume breakfast while 17.6% reported that they do not consume breakfast. The data did not find a significant correlation between breakfast intake and self-reported GPA (r=0.0039), nor did it find a significant correlation between nutritional quality of breakfast consumed and GPA (r=0.013 for fruit and veggies, r=0.00199 for whole grain cereal). There was also not a significant correlation between the frequency of breakfast consumption and GPA (r=0.1603). Overall, 98% of the study participants thought it was important to consume a nutrient dense breakfast, while only 67% thought breakfast was the most important meal of the day.
The study shows that a college students’ intake of breakfast before class may not have an effect on that students’ GPA. The results also show that intake of a nutritionally adequate breakfast may not have any effect on that students GPA. A students’ GPA is most likely affected by a variety of factors such as major, study habits, living accommodation, and dietary habits. However, it is difficult to find a correlation between GPA and only one of those factors.