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Eating a Good Breakfast is tied to Achieving Higher Educational Outcomes, Study Says

Update Date: Nov 17, 2015 12:34 PM EST

Breakfast could have a direct link to one's educational success, a new study reported.

In this new study, researchers set out to examine whether or not the type of breakfast that young children ate affected their educational outcomes. The team from Cardiff University recruited 5,000 children between the ages of nine and 11 who were from more than 100 schools and analyzed the quality of their breakfast. The team then conducted a follow-up via Key Stage 2 Teacher Assessments six to 18 months later. The children self-reported what they ate.

The researchers found that children who ate high quality breakfasts, which would include foods such as fruits, had higher academic outcomes. These children were also two times more likely than children who did not eat breakfast at all to perform above average educationally. Children who ate a low quality breakfast, which included unhealthy items, such as sweets, did not exhibit higher educational outcomes.

"This 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," lead author, Hannah Littlecott, said reported by MedicalXpress. "Embedding health improvements into the core business of the school might also deliver educational improvements as well."

She stressed that these findings give schools another reason to spend time and resources in order to improve child health.

Professor Chris Bonell, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University College London Institute of Education, added, "This 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. This further emphasizes the need for schools to focus on the health and education of their pupils as complementary, rather than as competing priorities."

The study was published in the journal, Public Health Nutrition.

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