Did you ever wonder what actually determines your study success? Are you often tired and your GPA is in need of improvement? Maybe your eating behaviour plays a crucial role in this matter…
During the last couple years, meat-free diets gained more and more popularity within the general population and this development simultaneously brings up the question `What are possible consequences of a diet on one´s health and performance?`. Many scientists share the opinion that people following a meat-free diet are suffering more severely and frequently from fatigue in terms of daytime sleepiness, exhaustion, and a lack of energy, compared to meat-eaters. Meanwhile, a deterioration of cognitive performance, such as the difficulty in sustaining attention, can be explained by a rise in fatigue.
If those two previous assumptions are now combined, the question, whether poor cognitive performance could actually be caused by the type of diet one follows, mediated by fatigue, arises. In our study we aim at providing an answer to this question, as it is the common goal of students to perform well at school and university and possibly influential factors should therefore be investigated.
Our study is currently conducted among second year Psychology students at Maastricht university. The participants are asked to fill in a questionnaire, the Profile of Mood States (POMS), which aims to determine their current level of fatigue. The questionnaire is followed by the performance of the N-back task to test the participants´ working memory performance.
If this study reveals a significant negative impact of a vegetarian diet on cognitive performance, the revision of your diet is a relatively easy step for you to take in order to impact your grades!