Relationships between dietary habits and the prevalence of fatigue in medical students

Nutrition. 2008 Oct;24(10):985-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2008.05.003. Epub 2008 Jun 17.


Objective: Fatigue, which is a common complaint among medical students, is related to poor academic outcomes. Because impaired dietary habits, such as skipping breakfast and taking meals irregularly, are correlated with poor school performances, whether those dietary habits were associated with the prevalence of fatigue was determined in medical students.

Methods: The study group consisted of 127 healthy second-year medical students attending Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine. They completed a questionnaire dealing with fatigue (Japanese version of the Chalder Fatigue Scale), lifestyle, and academic performance.

Results: On multivariate logistic regression analyses adjusted for age, gender, body mass index, and nocturnal sleeping hours, skipping breakfast (completely skipping breakfast everyday versus having breakfast everyday; odds ratio 7.81, 95% confidence interval 2.00-30.52, P = 0.003) and taking meals irregularly (completely irregular versus always regular; odds ratio 6.89, 95% confidence interval 1.20-39.55, P = 0.030) were positively correlated with the prevalence of fatigue.

Conclusion: Skipping breakfast and taking meals irregularly are associated with the prevalence of fatigue in medical students.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Life Style*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Students, Medical* / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult