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 per cent marks with over 80 per cent attendance (group A) and those who scored below 80 per cent with less than 80 per cent attendance (group B). “In group B, only 43 per cent students studied more than three hours in contrast to group A, where 63 per cent of whom studied over three hours a day. It was found that in group A, 37 per cent students ate healthy food, 88 per cent bathed daily, and 67 per cent washed their hands regularly,” the study said.
“In contrast, only 18 per cent in group B ate healthy, 53 per cent bathed daily and 37 per cent 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 per cent, over 60 per cent reported sickness as the main reason for absence from school. Interestingly, the study revealed that in group A, only 28 per cent ate in the school canteen for three days a week, unlike group B students where 64 per cent ate in the school canteen.