Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Open access

Association between breakfast consumption and educational outcomes in 9–11-year-old children

  • Hannah J Littlecott (a1), Graham F Moore (a1), Laurence Moore (a2), Ronan A Lyons (a3) and Simon Murphy (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980015002669
  • Published online: 28 September 2015
Abstract
AbstractObjective

Breakfast consumption has been consistently associated with health outcomes and cognitive functioning in schoolchildren. Evidence of direct links with educational outcomes remains equivocal. We aimed to examine the link between breakfast consumption in 9–11-year-old children and educational outcomes obtained 6–18 months later.

Design

Data on individual-level free school meal entitlement and educational outcomes (Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs) at Key Stage 2) were obtained via the SAIL databank and linked to earlier data collected on breakfast consumption. Multilevel modelling assessed associations between breakfast consumption and SATs.

Setting

Trial of the Primary School Free Breakfast Initiative in Wales.

Subjects

Year 5 and 6 students, n 3093 (baseline) and n 3055 (follow-up).

Results

Significant associations were found between all dietary behaviours and better performance in SATs, adjusted for gender and individual- and school-level free school meal entitlement (OR=1·95; CI 1·58, 2·40 for breakfast, OR=1·08; CI 1·04, 1·13 for healthy breakfast items). No association was observed between number of unhealthy breakfast items consumed and educational performance. Association of breakfast consumption with educational performance was stronger where the measure of breakfast consumption was more proximal to SATs tests (OR=2·02 measured 6 months prior to SATs, OR=1·61 measured 18 months prior).

Conclusions

Significant positive associations between self-reported breakfast consumption and educational outcomes were observed. Future research should aim to explore the mechanisms by which breakfast consumption and educational outcomes are linked, and understand how to promote breakfast consumption among schoolchildren. Communicating findings of educational benefits to schools may help to enhance buy-in to efforts to improve health behaviours of pupils.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Association between breakfast consumption and educational outcomes in 9–11-year-old children
      Your Kindle email address
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Association between breakfast consumption and educational outcomes in 9–11-year-old children
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Association between breakfast consumption and educational outcomes in 9–11-year-old children
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email LittlecottH@cardiff.ac.uk
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1.T Brown & C Summerbell (2009) Systematic review of school‐based interventions that focus on changing dietary intake and physical activity levels to prevent childhood obesity: an update to the obesity guidance produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Obes Rev 10, 110141.

9.NG Murray , BJ Low , C Hollis et al. (2007) Coordinated school health programs and academic achievement: a systematic review of the literature. J Sch Health 77, 589600.

10.CN Rasberry , SM Lee , L Robin et al. (2011) The association between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance: a systematic review of the literature. Prev Med 52, Suppl. 1, S10S20.

11.M Lynskey & W Hall (2000) The effects of adolescent cannabis use on educational attainment: a review. Addiction 95, 16211630.

12.GC Rampersaud , MA Pereira , BL Girard et al. (2005) Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc 105, 743760.

13.A Hoyland , KA McWilliams , RJ Duff et al. (2012) Breakfast consumption in UK schoolchildren and provision of school breakfast clubs. Nutr Bull 37, 232240.

14.GF Moore , K Tapper , S Murphy et al. (2007) Associations between deprivation, attitudes towards eating breakfast and breakfast eating behaviours in 9–11-year-olds. Public Health Nutr 10, 582589.

15.JA O’Dea & P Caputi (2001) Association between socioeconomic status, weight, age and gender, and the body image and weight control practices of 6- to 19-year-old children and adolescents. Health Educ Res 16, 521532.

16.L Moore , GF Moore , K Tapper et al. (2007) Free breakfasts in schools: design and conduct of a cluster randomised controlled trial of the Primary School Free Breakfast Initiative in Wales [ISRCTN18336527]. BMC Public Health 7, 258.

19.SB Cooper , S Bandelow & ME Nevill (2011) Breakfast consumption and cognitive function in adolescent schoolchildren. Physiol Behav 103, 431439.

21.N Vaisman , H Voet , A Akivis et al. (1996) Effect of breakfast timing on the cognitive functions of elementary school students. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 150, 10891092.

22.KA Wesnes , C Pincock , D Richardson et al. (2003) Breakfast reduces declines in attention and memory over the morning in schoolchildren. Appetite 41, 329331.

24.K Adolphus , CL Lawton & L Dye (2013) The effects of breakfast on behavior and academic performance in children and adolescents. Front Hum Neurosci 7, 425.

26.LD Edmunds & S Ziebland (2002) Development and validation of the Day in the Life Questionnaire (DILQ) as a measure of fruit and vegetable questionnaire for 7–9 year olds. Health Educ Res 17, 211220.

27.GF Moore , K Tapper , S Murphy et al. (2006) Validation of a self-completion measure of breakfast foods, snacks and fruits and vegetables consumed by 9- to 11-year-old schoolchildren. Eur J Clin Nutr 61, 420430.


29.R Lyons , K Jones , G John et al. (2009) The SAIL databank: linking multiple health and social care datasets. BMC Med Inform Decis 9, 3.

30.D Ford , K Jones , J-P Verplancke et al. (2009) The SAIL databank: building a national architecture for e-health research and evaluation. BMC Health Serv Res 9, 157.

31.V Edefonti , V Rosato , M Parpinel et al. (2014) The effect of breakfast composition and energy contribution on cognitive and academic performance: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr 100, 626656.

32.RE Kleinman , S Hall , H Green et al. (2002) Diet, breakfast, and academic performance in children. Ann Nutr Metab 46, 2430.

33.CR Mahoney , HA Taylor , RB Kanarek et al. (2005) Effect of breakfast composition on cognitive processes in elementary school children. Physiol Behav 85, 635645.

34.JA O’Dea & AC Mugridge (2012) Nutritional quality of breakfast and physical activity independently predict the literacy and numeracy scores of children after adjusting for socioeconomic status. Health Educ Res 27, 975985.

35.L Lien (2007) Is breakfast consumption related to mental distress and academic performance in adolescents? Public Health Nutr 10, 422428.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords: