A Healthy Breakfast Leads to Higher Assessment Scores, New Study Claims

November 17th, 2015
A Healthy Breakfast Leads to Higher Assessment Scores, New Study Claims

Children who start the day with a healthy breakfast are more likely to achieve higher grades in assessments, according to the new study carried out by researchers at Cardiff University.

A study, which involved 5,000 primary school children aged between 9 and 11 years old, revealed that those who ate a healthy breakfast on a regular basis achieved better results in their end of year assessments.

Researchers asked the children what they ate for breakfast and correlated the information with levels of academic attainment. Five thousand children from over 100 schools across Wales were interviewed in the first study to find a link between eating habits and academic achievements.

Researchers added the date recorded within the last 10 years to analyse the relationship between eating breakfast and school grades. Students were asked to record what they ate in a 24-hour period and their Key Stage 2 assessments were recorded. Further results were followed-up 6-18 months later.

The team found that children who started the day with a healthy breakfast were up to twice as likely to achieve an above average test score than those who did not. Children who ate junk food such as crisps and biscuits experienced no positive impact on their results.

Hannah Littlecott, lead author of the study, said that the study findings indicate the importance of making healthy choices and may encourage schools and parents to devote more time to teaching children about the importance of a healthy diet.

Many children eat breakfast at school in Wales as part of an initiative funded by the Welsh Government and school teachers say that it often becomes apparent which children have eaten and which have missed out on breakfast by mid-morning. Concentration levels fall, children become restless and irritable and their ability to take in and retain new information decreases.

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