Project Type

URC Presentation

College or School


Class Year



Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences


Nutrition & Wellness

Faculty Research Advisor

Jesse Stabile Morrell


The transition to college can shift health behaviors. Limited studies explore effects of health on academic performance in undergraduate populations. This study examines whether healthy lifestyle factors (HLF) impact academic performance among students. First-year students (FYS) (n=790), who had participated in an ongoing, cross-sectional study examining health status and behaviors during the 2013-15 academic years, were invited one year later to answer a five item, online survey. Respondents included 229 students who self-reported grade point average (GPA) (29% response rate). Using data collected during the students’ first year, five HLFs were identified including healthy BMI (74%), non-smoker (97%), non-binge drinker (42%), physically active (81%), and healthy diet (45%). During their first year, 43% of students had 4-5 HLFs. One year later, 38% of students reported a GPA ≥3.5; 44% with GPA 3.0-3.49; and 18% reported GPA 2.0-2.99. Non-binge drinkers were more likely than binge drinkers to report GPA≥3.5 (50 vs. 30%, p<.01). Students with healthy diets tended to report a GPA≥3.5 more often than those with unhealthy diets (46 vs. 31%, p=.057). FYS with 4-5 HLF were more likely than FYS with 0-3 HLF to report a GPA≥3.5 (51 vs. 32%, p<.05) one year later. Findings suggest that a healthy lifestyle as a FYS, particularly abstaining from binge drinking and eating a healthy diet, increases the likelihood of a higher GPA as an upper-class student.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Health data belongs to the CHANAS project.