Nut consumption and academic performance among adolescents: the EHDLA study
Year Published: 2022
José Francisco López-Gil 1 , Vicente Martínez-Vizcaíno 2 3 , Francisco J Amaro-Gahete 4 5 , María Medrano 1 6 , Carlos Pascual-Morena 1 , Celia Álvarez-Bueno 7 , Arthur Eumann Mesas 1 8
Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between nut consumption and academic performance in Spanish adolescents and to explore the role of sociodemographic, anthropometric, and lifestyle covariates on this association. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out using a food frequency questionnaire for estimating nut consumption in the number of 20-30 g servings per week, and academic performance data were obtained from school records. Analyses of covariance were adjusted for sociodemographic, anthropometric and lifestyle covariates, including total energy intake.
Key Findings: Results: Among the 846 adolescents included in the analyses (55.3% girls, age range from 12 to 17 years), the mean ± standard deviation consumption of nuts was 2.7 ± 2.8 servings per week, while the mean of all school grades recorded was 6.5 ± 2.0. Furthermore, compared to no consumption, the consumption of ≥ 3 nut servings per week was consistently associated with higher grades in language (p for trend = 0.005), combination of language and math (p for trend = 0.026), grade point average (p for trend = 0.039), and combination of all school records (p for trend = 0.046). These associations were observed regardless of all covariates considered, although sex and socioeconomic level played a significant role in the completely adjusted models. Conclusion: Nut consumption is associated with higher academic performance in a representative sample of Spanish adolescents. These cross-sectional results should be confirmed in longitudinal and intervention studies.