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Does breakfast-club attendance affect schoolchildren's nutrient intake? A study of dietary intake at three schools

  • Pippa Belderson (a1), Ian Harvey (a1), Rosemary Kimbell (a2), Jennifer O'Neill (a2), Jean Russell (a3) and Margo E. Barker (a2)...
Abstract

Lack of breakfast has been implicated as a factor contributing to children's poor diets and school performance. Breakfast-club schemes, where children are provided with breakfast in school at the start of the school day, have been initiated by the Department of Health in schools throughout England, UK. The aim of the present study was to compare the energy and nutrient intakes of schoolchildren who attended breakfast clubs (attendee subjects) with those who did not (control subjects). Three different schools were studied, involving a total of 111 children aged between 9 and 15 years. There were fifty-nine attendee and fifty-two control subjects. The two groups were matched for eligibility for school meals. All subjects completed a 3 d weighed food diary for estimation of nutrient intake. Height and weight were measured and BMI calculated. Nutrient intake data were analysed using a general linear model with age as a covariate. The demographic and anthropometric characteristics of the attendee and control subjects were similar. Children who attended breakfast clubs had significantly greater intakes of fat (% energy), saturated fat (% energy) and Na than control subjects. Thus, in these schools breakfast-club participation was not associated with superior nutrient intake or improvements in dietary pattern.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding Author: Dr Margo E. Barker, fax +44 114 2610112, email m.e.barker@sheffield.ac.uk
References
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Breakfast Clubs Evaluation Group (2002) A National Evaluation of School Breakfast Clubs: Report to the Department of Health. Norwich, Norfolk: University of East Anglia.
Department of Health (1991) Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. Report no. 41. London: H. M. Stationery Office.
Gordon, AR, Devaney, BL & Burghardt, JA (1995) Dietary effects of the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. Am J Clin Nutr 61, Suppl., 221S231S.
Gregory, J & Lowe, S (2000) National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Young People Aged 4 to 18 years. Volume 1: Report of the Diet and Nutrition Survey. London: The Stationery Office.
Nicklas, TA, Bao, W, Webber, LS & Berenson, GS (1993) Breakfast consumption affects adequacy of total daily intake in children. J Am Diet Assoc 93, 886891.
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Sodexho (2000) The Sodexho School Meals Survey 2000: Our children's approach to eating and lifestyle in the new millennium. Sodexho: Kenley.
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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