Breakfast and the Brain: How Eating Breakfast Impacts School Performance - eXtension
According to the Healthy Children website, about 8 to 12 percent of school-age children skip breakfast entirely, and among adolescents, this rate is even higher, . Relationship between eating breakfast and academic performance: A case study from wuro ausa primary school Yola, adamawa state, Nigeria. NDE, Diana G. The relationship between breakfast, academic performance and vigilance in A number of children reported eating breakfast on the way to school but the.
Self-report version for secondary school children. Adjusted for school type, gender, FSM status. For analysis of behavior, children classified as: Attended at least once O'Sullivan et al. The Western Australian Pregnancy cohort study. Bread and cereals, vegetables, fruit, dairy, and dairy alternatives, meat, and meat alternatives. Increase in BF quality associated with decrease in internalizing behavior score and a decrease in externalizing behavior scores.
Increase in BF quality associated with decrease in total child behavior score.
Does Eating Breakfast Affect Children's Learning?
Stepwise decrease in total score with increasing breakfast quality. PA, sedentary behavior, weight status, family income, maternal education, maternal age of conception, family structure, family functioning.
Aggression, delinquency Total behavior: Internalizing subscale, externalizing subscale, social thought, and attention problems.
Data collection in five waves: Parental questionnaire, 1 item to assess family BF frequency. No significant association between frequency of family BF and behavior.
Breakfast and the Brain: How Eating Breakfast Impacts School Performance
Fixed effects model results used as provides most unbiased estimates: Gender, ethnicity, family SES, parental education, family income, parental job prestige, family structure, area of residence, language, maternal employment during preschool, birth weight, teaching quality, school quality, region of residence, parental working hours, single parent family.
Externalizing subscale behavior coded: Internalizing subscale behavior coded: Teachers rated behavior until grade 5. Children completed scales at grade 8. Acceptable to good reliability on both scales. Observations of behavior in the classroom Direct measures of classroom behavior were utilized in 11 studies. Although there are inconsistent findings, the evidence indicated a mainly positive effect of breakfast on on-task behavior in the classroom in children.
Seven of the eleven studies demonstrated a positive effect of breakfast on on-task behavior. Two studies carried out in undernourished samples Chang et al. One study reported a negative effect of a SBP on behavior in undernourished children Cueto and Chinen, and three studies in children with behavioral problems demonstrated no effect of breakfast composition on behavior Kaplan et al.
Most studies included small samples of the order of 10—30 children which, although limited in terms of power and generalizability to the larger population, are more feasible and appropriate given the nature of the data and extensive coding methods required. Four intervention studies demonstrated a positive effect of SBPs on on-task behavior in undernourished and low SES children. Following a 6-week SBP providing approximately Kcal per day at breakfast, children in the intervention group displayed significantly less off-task and out of seat behavior and significantly more class participation Richter et al.
Concomitant teacher ratings of hyperactivity also declined significantly in the intervention group, however teachers reported no change in attention. This effect has also been demonstrated in adolescents. Two studies in small samples of adolescents aged 14—19 years showed an increase in on-task behavior in the classroom following an unstandardized teacher led SBP in vocational schools in USA Bro et al.
Cueto and Chinen observed a reduction in on-task behavior following a 3-year SBP measured using time per day spent in the classroom as an indirect proxy measure.
The design of the intervention required teachers to dedicate time to providing the breakfast mid-morning. This unexpected negative impact on on-task behavior is unlikely to occur when breakfast is delivered before school by non-teaching staff and when direct measures of classroom behavior are employed.
Seven studies employed a within-subjects acute experimental design to examine the effects of breakfast on classroom behavior across the morning. The findings were inconsistent, with three of the seven studies showing an advantage of breakfast on on-task behavior Chang et al. Children spent significantly more time on-task following a low GL breakfast meal compared with medium and high GL breakfast meals.
This effect was specific to the first 10 min of the observation. Children also displayed fewer signs of frustration during a video game observation, but again, effects were short lived and specific to the initial observation period. No significant effects were found for distracted behavior. Although meals aimed to be isocaloric, actual intake across conditions was variable and the macronutrient content differed between conditions.
Consequently, the difference in classroom behavior may be due to differences in macronutrient content rather than GL. Four studies failed to find a similar advantage for on-task behavior in children with Attention Deficit Disorder with hyperactivity ADD-H or behavioral problems Kaplan et al.
Mixed results were reported when comparing the effects of breakfast vs. A significant increase in on-task behavior was observed following a Kcal breakfast, which was seen only in the well-equipped school. In the three less well-equipped schools, behavior deteriorated following breakfast with an observed increase in off-task behavior talking, movement.
The well-equipped school had separate classrooms for each class and each child had their own desk, an environment probably more conducive to positive in-class behavior. The deterioration of behavior following breakfast in the less well-equipped schools could reflect greater difficulties in accurately observing whether children are on-task or off-task when they do not have their own desk or are in overcrowded classrooms.
In developed high income countries where school infrastructure is more standardized and where classrooms are not overcrowded, this possibly spurious effect is less likely to occur Murphy et al. However, negative effects on behavior have also been reported in UK primary and secondary school children within deprived areas following a SBP Shemilt et al. Therefore, other factors, including the breakfast club environment, delivery, and staff engagement with the SBP may have also influenced the impact of breakfast on behavior, as well as school structure.
For example, activities during the breakfast club and general atmosphere may promote negative and excitable behavior. Nutritional status did not influence the results of Chang et al's study, however, the degree of undernourishment was mild. It is possible that positive effects may be more demonstrable in children who are more severely undernourished. In addition, an appropriate environment in terms of classroom structure and equipment is needed to accurately observe the effects of breakfast.
One study examined the effects of breakfast size with or without a mid-morning snack Benton and Jarvis, This suggests a mid-morning snack is only beneficial for children who have skipped or eaten very little for breakfast and corrects the energy deficiency. Rating scales and questionnaires Twelve studies utilized teacher completed rating scales to assess children's behavior at school following breakfast.
These studies usually employed global scales to assess a range of behavioral domains including: The majority used standardized, established measures of behavior comparable across studies. Of the 12 studies that utilized rating scales and questionnaires, only two studies used unstandardized questionnaires and interviews with teachers to measure behavior Wahlstrom and Begalle, ; Overby and Hoigaard, Six of the twelve studies demonstrated a positive effect of breakfast on behavior at school, which was mainly hyperactivity and disruptive behavior.
Six intervention studies reported mixed evidence for the effects of SBPs on behavior at school. Two studies in low SES and undernourished children aged 8—10 years reported beneficial effects on hyperactivity Richter et al. In a longitudinal analysis of a 4-month SBP, Murphy et al.
Similarly, results from a 6-week SBP in undernourished children indicated a significant decline in ACTeRS hyperactivity scores following the SBP, but no change in attention, social skills and oppositional behavior during lessons Richter et al. Wahlstrom and Begalle reported an increase in social behavior and readiness to learn from interviews with teachers following a 3-year SBP. Their results also indicated a decrease in overall discipline referrals following the SBP.
Whilst this evidence indicates an apparent benefit of SBPs on school behavior, methodological shortcomings, including a lack of randomization and the inclusion of an appropriate control group, cannot preclude the effects of confounding factors. Three recent robust randomized control trials RCT that address the above inadequacies failed to find a similar benefit for school behavior measured by the SDQ following a 1 year intervention.
Both Ni Mhurchu et al. However, in both trials, SBP attendance was low and variable, limiting the potential impact on behavior. The barriers to participation in SBPs include a lack of parental support, a lack of teaching support, social stigma, busy morning schedules, transport issues preventing children from getting to school early and breakfast clubs causing children to arrive late to the first lesson Reddan et al.
This may account for the lack of observed effects on behavior. Although this study aimed to employ a RCT design, contamination between treatment arms necessitated a longitudinal observational analysis of behavioral outcomes and SBP attendance, rather than the planned intention to treat analysis.
Results at 1 year follow up indicated that children who attended the breakfast club had a higher incidence of borderline or abnormal conduct, pro-social, and total difficulties compared to children who did not attend the breakfast club Shemilt et al.
Does Eating Breakfast Affect Children's Learning? | Healthy Eating | SF Gate
Teachers also indicated that children were more energetic, less well-behaved and were difficult to control in the classroom as a result of attending the breakfast club. Parallel qualitative data from teachers, breakfast club staff and researchers who observed the breakfast club suggested that children's behavior deteriorated during the breakfast club as a result of inadequate supervision and training, and a lack of teaching staff who seemed to be regarded with more authority by children.
Observations of the breakfast club indicated behavior was often boisterous or disruptive and there was a general lively atmosphere.
This suggests that factors associated with the delivery of the SBP had more impact on behavioral outcomes than the subtle nutritional effects of breakfast in this study.
In addition, this study epitomizes the difficulties in isolating the independent effects of breakfast.
Both Milich and Pelham and Kaplan et al. However, Rosen et al. Two cross-sectional studies in well-nourished adolescent populations reported a significant association between habitual breakfast consumption and behavior. Overby and Hoigaard found that frequency of breakfast was significantly associated with less self-reported disruptive behavior during lessons in adolescents mean age A similar association was also evident between breakfast quality based on the number of food groups within the breakfast meal and CBCL scores higher score indicates poor behavior in adolescents O'Sullivan et al.
Eating breakfast every day can even improve your mental performance and math scores, according to a study in the August issue of "Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. William Sears, children who eat breakfast also participate more in class discussions, are better able to handle complex problems in class and get better grades.
In particular, a breakfast meal containing a balance of protein and complex carbohydrates boosts school performance for the remainder of the day.
Physical Benefits One major physical benefit of breakfast that can help school performance is the increase in energy that comes from a morning dose of carbs and protein. Energy provided by breakfast carbs allows children to fully participate in physical activity at school, including physical education, or P.
Kids who eat breakfast are typically in better health overall as well. They are less prone to obesity and illness, leading to fewer sick days, which can cause kids to fall behind in schoolwork.
Components of a Healthy Breakfast For a breakfast to be healthy, it should include some nutritious components. High-sugar cereals and breakfast bars are more likely to induce a blood sugar crash later in the day than they are to boost performance in class. Instead, opt for whole grains such as oatmeal, whole wheat toast or whole-grain cereals to provide carbohydrates.
Eggs, lean meat or tofu can provide protein.