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Muesli, fruit and yoghurt increase the chance of good grades
Experts have long recommended that children should have breakfast before school so that they can concentrate better in class. But obviously what matters most is what is eaten as the first meal of the day. Scientists at Cardiff University in Wales have now found that only a healthy breakfast has a positive impact on children's performance.
Health experts advise against an empty stomach at school
"You should have breakfast, otherwise you cannot concentrate at school". With sentences like these, many parents appeal to their offspring in the morning, because it has now been proven that schoolchildren are more productive when they have eaten something. Now a study by Cardiff University in Wales shows that what matters is what the children consume. Accordingly, only a healthy breakfast has a positive effect, unhealthy foods, however, have no effect.
Researchers evaluate data from 3,000 students
According to a message from Cardiff University, the team led by Hannah Littlecott had analyzed data from 5,000 nine- to eleven-year-old students from more than 100 schools for the research project. The young subjects had previously been asked to chronologically document everything they had eaten in the past 24 hours (including two breakfasts) on the day of the exam. The researchers combined the information obtained with the results of the Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs), which are study surveys in which all ten to eleven year olds in England and Wales have to take part. Students had reportedly taken this test six to 18 months after collecting eating behavior data and had been tested in English, math and science.
Nutrient-rich breakfast has a positive effect
According to the authors, it was found that those who had eaten something at the beginning of the day were twice as likely to get above-average results in the tests as in children who went to school on an empty stomach . But as the researchers report, what mattered was what was eaten. Accordingly, only a healthy breakfast made from cereal products such as e.g. Muesli or bread as well as fruit and dairy products. In contrast, children who had had sweets or chips had no changes in their performance.
Results confirm previous studies
As Hannah Littlecott explained, there has so far been no clear evidence that breakfast has a concrete impact on school results. "This study therefore provides the strongest evidence of a link between student nutrition and school performance - which has a significant impact on education and health policies," said the lead author, the university said. The study would also confirm other scientific work that has shown that e.g. breakfast from foods with a low glycemic index has a positive effect on cognitive functions, health, and attention and results at school.
“Linking our results to real performance data has allowed us to provide robust evidence of a link between eating breakfast and performing well at school. There is therefore reason to believe that schools that are able to encourage young people who do not have breakfast at home to have breakfast at school will achieve significant educational benefits, ”said the study’s co-author, Dr. Graham Moore.
More than a third of 11 to 13 year olds do not have breakfast at home
The findings of the Welsh researchers are not only relevant for Great Britain. Because, according to the study on the health of children and adolescents in Germany (KiGGS) http://www.kiggs-studie.de/fileadmin/KiGGS-Dokumente/kiggs_tn_broschuere_web.pdf from the Robert Koch Institute from 2013, it is also decreasing here in Germany Age The percentage of children who regularly have breakfast at home. According to this, just under a quarter (22.9%) of the 7- to 10-year-olds go to school on an empty stomach, and for the 11 to 13-year-olds it is even more than a third (33.9%). (No)