Introduction: Academic performance of a student is most commonly linked with several factors such as family socio-economic status etc. The nutritional status of a child is an important factor in the development of a child, including mental and cognitive development.
Purpose: This study investigated the effect of gender and BMI on academic performance of Junior Secondary School students in Owerri Education zone, with the aim of comparing the academic achievement of both genders with their BMI.
Methodology: Two research questions and two hypotheses were formulated in order to achieve the objectives. A descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study comprised 23, 229J.S.S students, with sample size of 120 JSS 3 students; 60 males and 60 females, selected by means of simple random sampling technique from 10 schools in the zone. The instruments used for data collection were structured students Test Questions (SSTQ) and school-based result for the last term in English, Mathematics, and Basic Science. Height and weight were recorded to calculate the Body Mass Index (BMI).
Result: The findings of the study showed that: Gender has no significant effect on academic performance of students while BMI has significant effect on academic performance of students.
Recommendation: It was recommended that underweight students should be counseled on how to improve their weight so as to avoid dropping down to severe underweight, as it may affect the brain’s ability to process information. This can affect the student’s academic performance.
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