Kids who eat breakfast do better in school

Kids who eat breakfast do better in school

Eating a healthy breakfast is a very important step to optimal health. Previous research has shown that protein in breakfast can prevent blood sugar spikes. More research has shown that a breakfast high in protein can also prevent weight loss. But can the benefits of a healthy breakfast extend to children? Now, a new study from Cardiff University shows that kids who eat breakfast do better in school.

The research team observed 5,000 nine to eleven year old students from over 100 schools to find a correlation between breakfast and performance in school. The kids who ate a healthy breakfast had better grades in the Key Stage 2 Teacher Assessments, which is a type of standardized testing in the U.K.

Kids who ate breakfast had twice the odds of performing above average in school. The type of breakfast mattered too, as only a healthy breakfast showed benefits. “A healthy breakfast was classified as fruit, dairy, bread and/or cereal items,” Hannah Littlecott, the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post.

As written in the study abstract:

Significant associations were found between all dietary behaviours and better performance in SATs, adjusted for gender and individual- and school-level free school meal entitlement (OR=1·95; CI 1·58, 2·40 for breakfast, OR=1·08; CI 1·04, 1·13 for healthy breakfast items). No association was observed between number of unhealthy breakfast items consumed and educational performance. Association of breakfast consumption with educational performance was stronger where the measure of breakfast consumption was more proximal to SATs tests (OR=2·02 measured 6 months prior to SATs, OR=1·61 measured 18 months prior).”

Other dietary habits like the consumption of fruits and vegetables after breakfast and throughout the rest of the day correlated to higher test scores as well.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#228B22″ class=”” size=”17″]”This study … offers the strongest evidence yet of links between aspects of what pupils eat and how well they do at school, which has significant implications for education and public health policy,” Littlecott said in a statement.[/pullquote]She emphasizes that this type of research is crucial, especially during a time where school budgets are getting lower and free meals may be on their way out.

“For schools, dedicating time and resource towards improving child health can be seen as an unwelcome diversion from their core business of educating pupils, in part due to pressures that place the focus on solely driving up educational attainment,” Littlecott said. “But this resistance to delivery of health improvement interventions overlooks the clear synergy between health and education. Clearly, embedding health improvements into the core business of the school might also deliver educational improvements as well.”

The study showing that kids who eat breakfast do better in school was published in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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REFERENCES:
1. “A Pilot Study Examining the Effects of Consuming a High-protein vs Normal-protein Breakfast on Free-living Glycemic Control in Overweight/obese ‘breakfast Skipping’ Adolescents.” Nature.com. International Journal of Obesity, 1 June 2015. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.
2. “Kids Who Eat A Good Breakfast May Do Better In School.” The Huffington Post. HuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.
3. “Association between Breakfast Consumption and Educational Outcomes in 9–11-year-old Children.” Public Health Nutrition. Public Health Nutrition, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.
4. “George Osborne Attacks Free School Meals and We Need to Fight Back.” International Business Times. International Business Times, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.

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