A new study provides more evidence that a good breakfast helps kids do better in school. Researchers at Cardiff University in the UK looked at 5,000 students between the ages of 9 and 11. They found that those who ate a healthy breakfast were up to two times more likely to achieve at least average grades than those who did not eat breakfast.
While breakfast consumption has been consistently associated with general health outcomes and acute measures of concentration and cognitive function, evidence regarding links to concrete educational outcomes have until now been unclear.
Researchers say their new study therefore offers the strongest evidence yet of links between aspects of what pupils eat and how well they do at school, which has significant implications for education and public health policy.
Schools sometimes regard the dedication of resources to improving child health as an unwelcome distraction from their mission of educating children. However, the team noted, that this resistance to delivery of health improvement interventions overlooks the clear synergy between health and education. They add, "Clearly, embedding health improvements into the core business of the school might also deliver educational improvements as well."
This new study adds to a growing body of international evidence indicating that investing resources in effective interventions to improve young people's health is also likely to improve their educational performance.