Researchers looked at 5,000 students in Great Britain between the ages of 9 and 11. They found that those who ate a healthy breakfast were up to two times more likely to achieve at least average grades than those who did not eat breakfast.
The Cardiff University study was published recently in the journal Public Health Nutrition.
“While breakfast consumption has been consistently associated with general health outcomes and acute measures of concentration and cognitive function, evidence regarding links to concrete educational outcomes has until now been unclear,” lead author Hannah Littlecott said in a university news release.
“This study therefore 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,” she added.
She said schools sometimes regard the dedication of resources to improving child health as an unwelcome distraction from their mission of educating children.
“But this resistance to delivery of health improvement interventions overlooks the clear synergy between health and education,” she said. “Clearly, embedding health improvements into the core business of the school might also deliver educational improvements as well.”
Chris Bonell, a professor of sociology and social policy at the University College London Institute of Education, said this study adds to “a growing body of international evidence indicating that investing resources in effective interventions to improve young people’s health is also likely to improve their educational performance.”
-Robert Preidt, Healthday News