For the first time, a direct and positive link between breakfast quality and consumption – and educational attainment – has been demonstrated by public health experts at Cardiff University.
The research found that the odds of an above average Teacher Assessment score were up to twice as high for students who ate breakfast, compared with those who did not.
The study of 5,000 nine to 11 year-olds from more than 100 primary schools sought to examine the link between breakfast consumption and quality and subsequent attainment in Key Stage 2 Teacher Assessments six to 18 months later.
The study -- the largest to date looking at longitudinal effects on standardized school performance -- found that children who ate breakfast, and who ate a better quality breakfast, achieved higher academic outcomes.
The odds of achieving an above average educational performance were up to twice as high for pupils who ate breakfast, compared with those who did not.
Eating unhealthy items like sweets for breakfast, which was reported by one in five children, did not have a positive impact on educational attainment.
Students were asked to list all food and drink consumed over a period of just over 24 hours (including two breakfasts), noting what they consumed at specific times throughout the previous day and for breakfast on the day of reporting.
Consuming healthy breakfast items for breakfast was significantly and positively associated with educational performance.
While eating breakfast has been consistently associated with better concentration and cognitive function, evidence regarding its effect on concrete educational outcomes has until now been unclear.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.