Health behavior and academic achievement among adolescents: The relative contribution of dietary habits, physical activity, body mass index, and self-esteem

Álfgeir Logi Kristjánsson, Inga Dóra Sigfúsdóttir, John P. Allegrante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study tested a structural equation model to estimate the relationship between health behaviors, body mass index (BMI), and self-esteem and the academic achievement of adolescents. The authors analyzed survey data from the 2000 study of Youth in Iceland, a population-based, cross-sectional sample of 6,346 adolescents in Iceland. The model demonstrated good fit with chi-square of 2685 (n = 5,810, df = 180), p <. 001, Comparative Fit Index value of. 94, and a root mean square error of approximation of. 049. Lower BMI, physical activity, and good dietary habits were all associated with higher academic achievement; however, health behavior was positively and robustly associated with greater self-esteem. Self-esteem was positively influenced both through physical activity (β =. 16) and the consumption of fruits and vegetables (β =. 14). In contrast, poor dietary habits negatively influenced self-esteem and academic achievement, and self-esteem was negatively influenced by increasing levels of BMI (β = -.05).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-64
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

Other keywords

  • Academic achievement
  • Adolescence
  • Body mass index
  • Health behavior
  • Self-esteem

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