A Good Breakfast Enhances School Results

11 April 2016  |  Editor

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I'm having a good breakfast: I'm ready to go!

The clearest link yet between eating a good breakfast and achieving higher academic performance has been made, according to a recent study.

Researchers from Cardiff University looked at food intake over a 24 hour period for 5000 children aged 9-11 in Welsh primary schools.  Their eating habits were then referenced against the results of Key Stage 2 assessments.  Children who had eaten a ‘good’ breakfast consisting of cereal, dairy, fruit and/or bread were found to be twice more likely to achieve above average test scores than those who had not. 

Commenting on the results, lead author Hannah Littlecott stated:

“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.”

We have written before about evidence linking poor breakfast choices during teenage years with a greater risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome (a collection of health issues including high blood pressure, central weight gain and poor blood sugar regulation) in adulthood. 

This newer research adds weight to calls for all children to have access to a healthy breakfast in order to improve both academic attainment and adult health outcomes.

Specific nutrients also play a role in supporting children’s mental wellbeing and performance.  Omega-3 oils are frequently low in children’s diets as oily fish like sardines and mackerel are rarely a favourite choice.  With research showing strong links between omega-3 intake and memory and concentration, maintaining your child’s omega-3 levels can work alongside a healthy breakfast to support their academic performance.