Healthy breakfast shown to improve school performance


A study suggests that children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to perform well in their assessments at the end of primary school.

Researchers from Cardiff University conducted the study, which asked 5,000 children (aged nine to 11 years) from more than 100 Welsh primary schools, what they had eaten in 24 hours.

The study built on research that had been started a decade previously, and had all the food and drink consumed listed, and their results in Key Stage 2 teacher assessments were also recorded. These were later followed up by the researchers between six months and 18 months from then.

They found that children who ate a healthy breakfast were more likely (by up to twice as much) to perform above average than pupils who did not have a healthy breakfast.

Dr Graham Moore, co-author of the study, said: “[The data showed] robust evidence of a link between eating breakfast and doing well at school.”

Kevin Davies, from Ysgol y Wern Primary School, in Ystalyfera, said: “It’s clear to us that those who come to our breakfast club and have the balance of foods they need are more attentive and keen to complete their work, and that persists throughout the day.”

The findings were published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, and also found that unhealthy food, such as crisps and sweets, did not have a positive effect on performance. One in five children said they had consumed these.