Unhygienic practices lead to poor academic performance: Study

New Delhi: Children with poor hygiene practices are more likely to suffer in terms of academic performance, a study by the Indian Medical Academy said here Wednesday.

Conducted among 500 parents and 540 doctors, the participants were divided into two groups - those who scored above 80 percent marks with over 80 percent attendance (group A) and those who scored below 80 percent with less than 80 percent attendance (group B).

"In group B, only 43 percent students studied more than three hours in contrast to group A, where 63 percent of whom studied over three hours a day. It was found that in group A, 37 percent students ate healthy food, 88 percent bathed daily, and 67 percent washed their hands regularly," the study said.

"In contrast, only 18 percent in group B ate healthy, 53 percent bathed daily and 37 percent practised hand washing regularly. This clearly showed that most children who did well academically had a healthy diet and had sense of good personal hygiene," the study added.

The online study was conducted across Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

"Majority of children are not properly taught healthy sanitary and personal hygiene habits like washing hands regularly and bathing daily. These children suffer more in terms of academic performance," said Sanjeev Bagai, senior paediatrician and member, Indian Medical Academy.

"Infections lead to absenteeism, and the learning process suffers as a result. Infections also lead to malabsorption of nutrients causing malnutrition, which in turn results in growth and cognitive impairments," added Bagai.

The study also revealed that of the group B students who had an attendance of less than 80 percent, over 60 percent reported sickness as the main reason for absence from school.

Interestingly, the study revealed that in group A, only 28 percent ate in the school canteen for three days a week, unlike group B students where 64 percent ate in the school canteen in the same time.


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