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Children with poor hygiene don't do well academically, says Indian study2nd of July 2012
Children with poor hygiene practices are more likely to perform badly at school, according to a study by the Indian Medical Academy.
The research was conducted by 500 parents and 540 doctors, with participants 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 of students studied for more than three hours in contrast to group A, where 63 per cent studied for over three hours a day. It was found that in group A, 37 per cent of 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 of those in group B ate healthily, 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 online study was conducted across Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
"The majority of children are not properly taught healthy sanitary and personal hygiene habits like washing hands regularly and bathing daily," said Sanjeev Bagai, senior paediatrician and member at the Indian Medical Academy. "These children suffer more in terms of academic performance.
"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.