Affiliations: [a] Human Ecology Laboratory, Department of Home Economics and Ecology, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece
| [b] Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece
Corresponding author: Vassiliki Costarelli, Department of Home Economics and Ecology, Harokopio University of Athens, 70, El.Venizelou Ave, Kallithea, Athens 17671, Greece. Tel.: +30 210 954 9368; Fax: +30 210 957 7050; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abstract: PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to explore possible links between adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MeD), general dietary behaviors, energy balance behaviors, excess body weight other lifestyle habits and academic performance in Greek adolescents. METHODS: A total of 520 students (256 boys; 264 girls), 15–18 years old, were recruited from the four Departments of Secondary Education in the area of Athens, Greece. Students completed a specifically designed energy balance behaviors questionnaire together with the KIDMED index, which evaluates the degree of adherence to the MeD. In addition, various other questionnaires were used such as the Physical Activity and Lifestyle Questionnaire (PALQ), the STAI questionnaire to measure anxiety levels, the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (SPPA) and selected subscales of the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ) to assess the adolescents’ attitudes towards health. Academic performance was assessed using the students’ average score for all school subjects. Standard anthropometric measurements were also taken. RESULTS: Block stepwise regression analysis was conducted. Results indicate that family meals (β= 0.087, P = 0.017), adherence to the MeD (0.176, P = 0.001), soft drinks consumption (β= –0.104, P = 0.004), TV viewing (β= –0.068, P = 0.047) and smoking (β= –0.159, P = 0.001) are significant factors in predicting academic performance in adolescents. CONCLUSION: Poor adherence to the MeD, small number of family meals, high soft drinks consumption and smoking, may have a negative influence on academic performance in adolescents.