Cardiff University study: Significant positive associations between breakfast consumption, educational outcomes

17 Nov

The first thing I do when I get up, I have breakfast.

Karl Lagerfeld

Everyone from Mom to Grandma talks about the importance of breakfast. Nutrition provides the fuel for children to be ready to learn. Erica Lesperance, RD, LD of the Diet Channel wrote in 5 Important Reasons Your Child Should Eat Breakfast:

Benefits of breakfast

The following are key reasons why breakfast should be made a priority for every child:

Breakfast equals better behavior

Children who skip breakfast are more tired, irritable, or restless by late morning. These symptoms lead to aggressive behavior that causes children to get in trouble in school. Children who regularly eat a morning meal have more energy, are less likely to exhibit aggressive behavior, and have a better attitude toward school.

Breakfast leads to higher test scores

A study published in 1998 in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine showed significantly higher math test scores after children ate breakfast. This and other research has clearly shown that children who consistently eat breakfast test higher in most academic areas. (See also Brain Food for Kids.)

Eating breakfast led to better class attendance

Children who eat breakfast are absent from school fewer days. They also spend less time in the nurse’s office complaining of stomach pains. Ironic as it may be, children who claim they don’t eat breakfast due to a lack of time in the morning are tardy more often than those who take time for a morning meal.

More nutritious intake by eating breakfast

Breakfast eaters generally meet vitamin and mineral requirements for prevention of deficiencies. They consume more fiber, vitamin C, calcium and folic acid. Unfortunately, children who miss breakfast do not make up for lost nutrients later in the day.

Eating breakfast helps weight control

Eating breakfast helps to establish a normal eating pattern. Eating regular meals and snacks is a key to maintaining a healthy weight throughout life. Increasing childhood obesity is in part attributed to the disappearance of normal eating patterns in many of today’s households.

Why do some children still resist breakfast?

Given the abundance of compelling information on the benefits of breakfast consumption, why does one out of eight school children start the day without eating breakfast? Some are not encouraged to do so by their parents, while others make arguments for avoiding breakfast. Some common arguments are lack of time, absence of hunger, and distaste for breakfast foods. No matter what the barrier, parents can and should find a way around them.

Creating healthy habits in your children

Here are some tips for parents on incorporating breakfast into their children’s before-school routines:

  • Prepare for school the night before by preparing the next day’s clothes, lunch and backpack.
  • Set the alarm for 15 minutes earlier to allow more time for breakfast.
  • Say no to TV, video games and computers in the morning.
  • Choose foods that require little preparation such as fresh and canned fruits, milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, whole grain cereals or instant oatmeal.
  • Eat on the run with celery stuffed with peanut butter or cream cheese, dried fruits, string cheese, juice boxes, milk cartons, or breakfast bars.
  • For those with little hunger in the morning, offer juice, milk or a fruit smoothie made with skim milk and fruit.
  • For those who dislike breakfast foods, offer something non-traditional like cold pizza or leftover chicken.

Set a good example to your children: eat breakfast yourself….                                                                       http://www.thedietchannel.com/5-Important-Reasons-Your-Child-Should-Eat-Breakfast.htm

A Cardiff University study links breakfast consumption to education outcomes.

Science Daily reported in Study provides strongest evidence yet of a link between breakfast quality and educational outcomes:

A direct and positive link between pupils’ breakfast quality and consumption, and their educational attainment, has for the first time been demonstrated in a ground-breaking new study carried out by public health experts at Cardiff University.

The study of 5000 9-11 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 6-18 months later.

The study — thought to be the largest to date looking at longitudinal effects on standardised school performance — found that children who ate breakfast, and who ate a better quality breakfast, achieved higher academic outcomes.

The research found that 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 and crisps for breakfast, which was reported by 1 in 5 children, had no positive impact on educational attainment.

Pupils 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.

Alongside number of healthy breakfast items consumed for breakfast, other dietary behaviours — including number of sweets and crisps and fruit and vegetable portions consumed throughout the rest of the day — were all significantly and positively associated with educational performance.

Social scientists say the research, published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, offers the strongest evidence yet of a meaningful link between dietary behaviours and concrete measures of academic attainment….                                                                                                                               http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151116212635.htm?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

Citation:

Study provides strongest evidence yet of a link between breakfast quality and educational outcomes

New study of 5,000 9- to 11-year-olds demonstrates significant positive associations between breakfast consumption, educational outcomes

Date:       November 16, 2015

Source:   Cardiff University

Summary:

A new study of 5,000 9- to 11-year-olds demonstrates significant positive associations between breakfast consumption and educational outcomes.The research found that the odds of an above average Teacher Assessment score were up to twice as high for pupils who ate breakfast, compared with those who did not.

Journal Reference:

  1. Hannah J Littlecott, Graham F Moore, Laurence Moore, Ronan A Lyons, Simon Murphy. Association between breakfast consumption and educational outcomes in 9–11-year-old children. Public Health Nutrition, 2015; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S1368980015002669

Here is the press release from Cardiff University:

Good breakfast, good grades?

17 November 2015

A direct and positive link between pupils’ breakfast quality and consumption, and their educational attainment, has for the first time been demonstrated in a ground-breaking new study carried out by public health experts at Cardiff University.

The study of 5000 9-11 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* 6-18 months later.

The study – thought to be the largest to date looking at longitudinal effects on standardised school performance – found thatchildren who ate breakfast, and who ate a better quality breakfast, achieved higher academic outcomes.

The research found that 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 and crisps for breakfast, which was reported by 1 in 5 children, had no positive impact on educational attainment.

Pupils 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.

Alongside number of healthy breakfast items consumed for breakfast, other dietary behaviours – including number of sweets and crisps and fruit and vegetable portions consumed throughout the rest of the day – were all significantly and positively associated with educational performance.

Social scientists say the research, published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, offers the strongest evidence yet of a meaningful link between dietary behaviours and concrete measures of academic attainment.

Hannah Littlecott from Cardiff University’s Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPher), lead author of the study, said: “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.

“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 – pertinent in light of rumours that free school meals may be scrapped following George Osborne’s November spending review.

“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.

“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.”

Professor Chris Bonell, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University College London Institute of Education, welcomed the study’s findings. He 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. This further emphasises the need for schools to focus on the health and education of their pupils as complementary, rather than as competing priorities. Many schools throughout the UK now offer their pupils a breakfast. Ensuring that those young people most in need benefit from these schemes may represent an important mechanism for boosting the educational performance of young people throughout the UK”.

Dr Graham Moore, who also co-authored the report, added: “Most primary schools in Wales are now able to offer a free school breakfast, funded by Welsh Government. Our earlier papers from the trial of this scheme showed that it was effective in improving the quality of children’s breakfasts, although there is less clear evidence of its role in reducing breakfast skipping.

“Linking our data to real world educational performance data has allowed us to provide robust evidence of a link between eating breakfast and doing well at school. There is therefore good reason to believe that where schools are able to find ways of encouraging those young people who don’t eat breakfast at home to eat a school breakfast, they will reap significant educational benefits.”                                                                  http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/view/162112-good-breakfast,-good-grades?utm_source=cu-home&utm_medium=News_Feed&utm_campaign=news

Nutrition is one part of ensuring a child is ready to learn. See, Getting Young Children Ready to Learn http://www.classbrain.com/artread/publish/article_37.shtml   Education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process.

Our goal as a society should be a healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

Resources:

Importance of Breakfast

http://www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au/parents-carers/healthy-eating-and-drinking/importance-of-breakfast.aspx

Why is breakfast important for kids?                                                                                             http://sg.theasianparent.com/breakfast-for-kids-why-is-it-important/

Where information leads to Hope. ©

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