No matter your age, you’ve probably heard that a healthy breakfast is the best way to start the day. Adding credibility to that statement, a study has found that kids who eat breakfast have better academic performance as well as higher test scores. The study was published in Public Health Nutrition and included 3,055 students, ages 9 to 11. Students reported everything they ate for a period of just over 24 hours (which included two breakfasts) and indicated when they ate each food. Researchers analyzed the students’ answers for healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, and unhealthy foods, like sweets and potato chips. Then, they compared the dietary data to the students’ test scores, taken 6 to 18 months later. After adjusting for gender and access to free school meals, the researchers found that:
Students who reported eating breakfast performed better academically and got higher test scores.
Eating unhealthy foods was not associated with academic performance, indicating that just eating breakfast was more important for performance than eating a healthy breakfast.
This study adds to the growing body of evidence that associates healthy lifestyle choices among students with better academic performance. However, more research is needed to understand exactly how health and educational outcomes are linked, and to pinpoint the best ways we can encourage kids to keep up healthy habits.
Source: Public Health Nutrition