Few studies have looked at the impact of school meals on a child’s educational performance—until now, that is. Researchers recently reported on a study that evaluated the effect that eating breakfast at school had on 15-year-olds in terms of their scholastic abilities.
Adolescents who followed a 4-month dietary intervention consisting of a free breakfast eaten on school premises were compared with a control group. Both groups were educated in the importance of healthy eating and questioned about their dietary intake.
Food patterns improved among the male students who ate breakfast, while the control group experienced “statistically significant” increases in BMI compared with the intervention group. Although no improvements were noted in either group in terms of school performance, the males in the breakfast group did report a significant increase in their school contentment levels, according to the study results, which were published in the December 7, 2006, issue of Nutrition Journal.
These findings led the researchers to conclude that “in a lower secondary school class served breakfast for 4 months, dietary intake changed to a more healthy profile and weight gain was reduced.” The bottom line: Feeding your own kids breakfast may make them happier and healthier!