Background of the study
Nutrition can be defined as getting the calories we need for energy, and the nutrient we need for proper growth. Variety, balance and moderation are keys for good nutrition (Mealtime memo, 2006). Nutrition is a vital component to overall wellness and health. Diet affects energy, well being and many diseases states. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, it is the process of eating the right kind of food so as to grow properly and be healthy. It is the act or process of nourishing or being nourished; specifically the sum of the process by which an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances. Nutrition is the supply of, materials food required by organism and cell to stay alive (Christian Nordquist, 2015). Adam Brook (2010) defines nutrition as sum total of the processes involved in the taking in and the utilization of food substances by which growth, repair and maintenance of the body are accomplished.
Nutrition is the science that interprets the interaction of nutrients and other substances in food (e.g phytonutrients, anthonutrients, tannis. E.t.c) in relation to maintenance, growth reproduction, health and diseases of an organism. It includes food intakes, absorption, assimilation, bibsythesis, catabolism and excreation (National Institutes of Health (NIH), 2014).
Good nutrition can help prevent diseases and promote health. There are six categories of nutrients that the body need to acquire from food: protein, carbohydrates, fat and oil, vitamin, minerals and water. Good nutrition help individual achieve general health and well being. Student who do not consume adequate amount of key nutrients, including calcium and potassium and vitamin C may be unable to work to their full potential at school (Nabarro, 2012).
Nutrients affect student thinking skills, behaviour, health and all factors that impact academic performance. According to Gomez-Pinilla, (2008) found that access to nutrition particularly breakfast can enhance a student psycho-social well being reduce aggression and school suspension, and decrease discipline problems he established a link between nutrition and behaviour. Student with less nutritious diet perform worse on a standardized literary assessment (Asbridge, & Florence, 2008).
Nutrition also indirectly impact school performance. Poor nutrition can leave students’ susceptible to illness or lead to headache and stomachaches, resulting in school absences (Prothrow-Stith, 2008). Access to nutrition that incorporate protein, carbohydrate and glucose has been shown to improve student cognition, concentration and energy levels (Sorhaindo & Feinstein, 2006). In contrast, nutritional deficiencies (particularly Zinc, B vitamin, omega 3 fatty acid, and protein) early in life can affect the cognitive development of school and aged children. Gomez-Pinilla, (2008) suggest that diet high in trans and saturated fat can negatively impact the brain, influencing learning and memory. Student attendance improves in schools that implement universal-free school breakfast programs. Student who do not participate in school are at risk for for increase absences, adverse behavior, reduced concentration and poor academic performance (Ohri- Vachaspati, 2004). In an educational world filled with failing school and apathetic students, one of the possible causes of poor nutrition that leads to this failing could as a result of low-income, insufficient food and family size. There is a correlation between nutrition and cognition as well psychosocial behaviour these relationship has been highly under researched, the nutritional benefit of many protein, vitamin and food substance as they affect learning and brain function has been put into consideration. Schools have the potential to play a vital role in preparing and sustaining student potential learning abilities and benefiting their social behaviour by supplying nutritious breakfast and lunches during school days.
Statement of the problem
The study is to investigate the perceived effect of nutrition on the academic performance of secondary school student in Ido-Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State
It is seen that poor nutrition affects the cognition of students, leading to low performance and lack of concentration in classroom. The researcher will use this research work to help develop possible steps that parent and schools can take to ensure that their students eat food containing good nutrient that will be use full to the study