From: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Published January 25, 2017 12:28 PM

Study suggests fitness and iron deficiency linked to GPA

Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Pennsylvania State University have found that a student’s fitness level and iron status could be the difference between making an A or a B.

In the study based at Penn State, evidence suggested female college students who were fit and had normal iron levels achieved higher grade point averages than unfit women who were iron deficient. The difference in grade-point average was as much as 0.34 -- enough to drop or increase a letter grade.

“GPA is a very easy measure of success and something everyone can relate to,” said Karsten Koehler, assistant professor of nutrition and health sciencesat Nebraska. “That’s something that resonates pretty well. It’s always nice to show an association that has a meaningful effect that translates into something everybody can apply.”

Iron helps the body with essential functions such as transporting oxygen in the blood. Iron deficiency is associated with fatigue, lower work capacity and poor academic performance. Physical fitness is also known to influence overall health, cognition and learning. Koehler and his colleagues wanted to explore the lesser known combined effects of fitness and iron deficiency on grade point average.

Read more at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Photo: Craig Chandler | University Communication - Karsten Koehler (center) works with students in his exercise science lab in Nebraska's Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences.

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