ArticlePDF Available

Breakfast Eating Habit and its Influence on Attention-concentration, Immediate Memory and School Achievement

Authors:
  • National Institue of Nutrition HYDERABAD
  • National Institute of Nutrition, (ICMR)

Abstract and Figures

To study the relationship of breakfast to the attention -concentration, immediate recall memory, nutritional status and academic achievement of school children. Cross-sectional study. Two schools catering to middle class families in Hyderabad city. 379 urban 11 to 13 years old school children studying in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Data collected in a single way blind procedure using Letter Cancellation test, immediate memory from the PGI Memory Scale, school marks of the previous year and nutritional status. Comparison between groups indicated significant differences in the letter cancellation (LC) total scores with the regular breakfast group achieving the highest mean scores compared to the no breakfast group (P< 0.05). Marks scored by the regular breakfast group in subjects - Science, English and total Percentage were significantly higher compared to those scored by the children in the no breakfast group. Regular breakfast eating habit and weight for age percent were significantly (P< 0.001) associated with immediate recall memory score explaining 4.3 percent variation. Regular habit of eating breakfast as opposed to irregular consumption or skipping breakfast altogether had beneficial influence on attention-concentration, memory and school achievement.
Content may be subject to copyright.
INTRODUCTION
Eating breakfast provides energy for the brain and
improves learning. The effect of glucose deprivation
is noticeable by a fall in blood glucose level of
sufficient degree, which is rapidly followed by
disturbance in cerebral function(1). The gap of about
10 to 12 hours between dinner and breakfast causes,
low blood glucose levels and habitually missing
breakfast can adversely affect cognitive perfor-
mance. The gradual decline of insulin and glucose
level could determine a stress response, which
interferes with different aspects of cognitive
function, such as attention and working memory. It is
plausible that the decline in cerebral iron level likely
to result from diet that is deficient in heme intensifies
the stress associated with overnight and morning
fast(2).
Sustained contribution of breakfast to a person’s
health status over time is particularly relevant for
children whose daily dietary intake barely meets the
requirements(3). Breakfast eaters tend to have higher
basal metabolism, and have less craving for the food.
Children who skip breakfast but eat later on in the
day may catch up their daily nutrient requirements
but are unlikely to attend and concentrate on the
teacher’s lecture in the morning session because they
are hungry. If the transitory metabolic changes due to
skipping breakfast were to occur frequently, they
would be likely to have a cumulative adverse effect
that may place a child’s school progress at risk(4).
The present study hypothesized that, the habit of
consuming breakfast regularly in combination with
other demographic factors, nutritional status and
regular school attendance will positively influence
Breakfast Eating Habit and its Influence on Attention-concentration, Immediate
Memory and School Achievement
NS GAJRE, S FERNANDEZ, N BALAKRISHNA AND S VAZIR
From the National Institute of Nutrition (Indian Council of Medical Research), Hyderabad, India.
Correspondence to: Dr. Shahnaz Vazir, Deputy Director, National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR),
Jamai-Osmania, Hyderabad 500 007, India. E-mail: shahnaz.vazir@gmail.com.
Manuscript received: December 10, 2007; Initial review completed: March 10, 2008;
Revision accepted: March 31, 2008.
ABSTRACT
Objective: To study the relationship of breakfast to the attention -concentration, immediate recall memory,
nutritional status and academic achievement of school children. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting:
Two schools catering to middle class families in Hyderabad city. Methods: 379 urban 11 to 13 years old
school children studying in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Data collected in a single way blind procedure using
Letter Cancellation test, immediate memory from the PGI Memory Scale, school marks of the previous year
and nutritional status. Results: Comparison between groups indicated significant differences in the letter
cancellation (LC) total scores with the regular breakfast group achieving the highest mean scores
compared to the no breakfast group (P<0.05). Marks scored by the regular breakfast group in subjects -
Science, English and total Percentage were significantly higher compared to those scored by the children
in the no breakfast group. Regular breakfast eating habit and weight for age percent were significantly
(P<0.001) associated with immediate recall memory score explaining 4.3 percent variation. Conclusions:
Regular habit of eating breakfast as opposed to irregular consumption or skipping breakfast altogether
had beneficial influence on attention-concentration, memory and school achievement.
Key Words: Attention-concentration, Breakfast, Children, Immediate memory, School achievement.
INDIAN PEDIATRICS 824 VOLUME 45__OCTOBER 17, 2008
RESEARCH PAPER
Accompanying Editorial: Pages 816-817.
INDIAN PEDIATRICS 825 VOLUME 45__OCTOBER 17, 2008
GAJRE, et al. BREAKFAST AND SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT
attention-concentration, memory and academic
performance of students. We aimed to study the
relationship of breakfast to the attention-
concentration, immediate recall memory, nutritional
status and academic achievement of schoolchildren
11-13 years of age.
METHODS
This cross-sectional study was conducted among
379 urban middle class children aged between 11 to
13 years studying in 6th, 7th and 8th grades in two
schools catering to middle class families in
Hyderabad city.
Breakfast was defined as “the first meal of the
day that has been taken in the morning, before going
to school (i.e., before 9am)”. ‘Breakfast’ is referred
to any food item solid or liquid excluding caffeinated
drinks.
Data were collected in a single way blind
procedure. Those eating breakfast regularly
(Group I), irregular breakfast eaters i.e., those
skipping breakfast 2-3 times a week (Group II) and
those who habitually never ate breakfast (Group III)
were identified on the basis of a pre-tested
questionnaire on breakfast eating habit, that was
filled up by the children after they were tested on
psychological tests. Data on memory, attention-
concentration, school achievement, growth and
socioeconomic status were collected using the
following tests and procedures:
Letter cancellation test: The test takes 5 minutes and
requires eye-hand coordination, speed, and sustained
attention-concentration. Test-retest reliabilities
ranged from 0.89 to 0.92 for the total score after a
five-hour interval, and 0.92 for the total score minus
errors after a 12-month interval(5). Instructions and
scoring were followed as per the manual.
PGI memory scale: Although this tool(6) was
developed for adults to assess dysfunction, the
modified version of the ‘immediate recall’ sub-test
was used after adaptation and validation for school
children(6).
The Letter cancellation and Immediate memory
tests were administered to the students in each class
as group tests with one following the other, during
the morning session of school between 9 to 11 am.
Assessment of nutritional status: The height and
weight of the study children were measured and
compared against NCHS standards for the respective
ages(7).
Socioeconomic status: Socioeconomic Status
Rating Scale (SESRS) was used to assess the
socioeconomic status (SES) of the families(8).
Information regarding locality, religion, caste,
education and occupation of parents, family type,
etc., was filled up by the parents.
School achievement: Previous year’s annual
examination marks for Math, Science and English
were used for analyzing school achievement.
Breakfast questionnaire: A questionnaire to identify
breakfast eating pattern was developed and pre-
tested for the study. This questionnaire also assessed
the type of breakfast foods, and reason for not taking
breakfast on a regular basis.
Data analysis: Sample size estimates were based on
a confidence interval of 0.95 and power efficiency
(1-
β
) of 0.80, which are accepted international
norms. Statistical package for social science (SPSS)
version 11.5 was used for the data analysis. ANOVA
with Post-hoc square was used to study the
association of nutritional status and the breakfast
eating pattern. Multiple linear regression analysis
was done to assess the contribution of each
independent variable (SES, type of breakfast eating
habit, and nutritional status) in explaining the
variation in the dependent variables (attention-
concentration, immediate recall, and school marks).
The level of the significance considered was
P<0.05.
RESULTS
The 379 subjects selected for the study were in the
age group of 11-13 years. 62.3 % of children
habitually consumed breakfast (Group I), 33.8 %
consumed it irregularly, skipping it 2 or 3 times a
week (Group II) and, 3.9 % did not consume
breakfast at all (Group III). 44.3% subjects had
completed 11 years of age, 38.5% had completed 12
GAJRE, et al. BREAKFAST AND SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT
INDIAN PEDIATRICS 826 VOLUME 45__OCTOBER 17, 2008
years of age and 17.2% had completed 13 years of
age. About 55% were boys and 45% girls.
Maternal education and occupation: Majority of
mothers were housewives (68.6%, Group I; 76.6%,
Group II; and 73.3%, Group III). Percent post
graduate mothers were the highest in the Group I
(61.4 %) compared to Group II (56.3%) and Group
III (46.7%). However, these differences were not
significant.
Nutritional status: There were 4.7%, 9.4% and
6.7% underweight children in Group I, Group II and
Group III, respectively. The percentage stunting
among children in the 3 groups was 12.7%, 12.5%
and 13.3%, respectively. These differences were not
statistically significant.
Attention-concentration, memory and school
achievement: Table I shows that there were
significant differences in the letter cancellation (LC)
total scores with Group I achieving the highest mean
scores compared to Group III (P<0.05). Marks
scored by Group I in Science, English and total
percentage was significantly higher compared to
those scored by Group III, but not Group II.
Multivariate analysis: Table II shows that regular
breakfast eating habit was found to be significantly
(P<0.02) associated with LC scores of the children
explaining 1.4 percent variation. Regular breakfast
eating habit and weight for age percent were
significantly (P<0.001) associated with immediate
recall memory explaining 4.3 percent variation.
TABLE IIORDER AND SET OF V ARIABLES ASSOCIATED WITH LETTER CANCELLATION SCORE, IMMEDIATE RECALL M EMORY AND SCHOOL
MARKS OF PREVIOUS Y EAR ANNUAL E XAM
Dependent variable Order of variable R2 % F Ratio P value
Letter cancellation score Habit (regular breakfast) 1.4 5.3 0.02
Immediate recall memory Weight for age and regular breakfast habit 4.3 8.5 0.001
Math marks Occupation of mother 2.5 9.6 0.01
Science marks Type of family, regular breakfast habit and height for age 6.2 8.3 0.001
English Regular breakfast habit and education of mother 4.8 9.4 0.001
Percentage of marks Regular breakfast habit 1.9 7.3 0.01
Step-wise multiple linear regression analysis: Independent variables = Community, Education of mother, Education of father,
Occupation of father, Occupation of mother, Type of family, Type of house, Height for age, Weight for age and Breakfast habit
(regular, irregular, no breakfast).
TABLE I LETTER C ANCELLATION (LC) AND IMMEDIATE RECALL MEMORY SCORES, AND S UBJECT MARKS IN CHILDREN A CCORDING TO
BREAKFAST EATING PATTERNS
Variables Group I Group II Group III
(n=226) Mean ± SD (n=128) Mean ± SD (n=15) Mean ± SD
Letter cancellation score 145.3 ± 32.4 140.6 ± 33.4 124.8 ± 32.8
Immediate memory recall 4.3 ± 1.9 4.0 ± 1.7 3.6 ± 1.9
Marks obtained
Math 56.7±18.1 56.3±15.6 45.9±18.9
Science 66.2±18.3 62.5±17.4 55.3±14.8
English 66.2±18.5 61.9±15.1 55.5±16.9
%Total 63.3±18.5 60.0±14.5 52.2±15.2
Breakfast eating pattern: Group I-Regular, Group II-Irregular(skipping breakfast 2-3 times/wk), Group III-No breakfast.
INDIAN PEDIATRICS 827 VOLUME 45__OCTOBER 17, 2008
GAJRE, et al. BREAKFAST AND SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT
Significant association (P<0.01) was found
between maternal occupation and maths marks of the
previous year explaining about 2.5 percent variation.
Family type, regular breakfast habit and height for
age were significantly (P<0.001) associated with
children’s science marks explaining about 6.2
percent variation. However, among these, height for
age was negatively associated, a finding that is
difficult to explain in the present study. Education of
the mother (graduate) and regular breakfast habit
were significantly associated with the English
marks, explaining 4.8 percent variation. Regular
breakfast was significantly (P<0.01) associated with
total aggregate marks and explained about 2 percent
variation in it.
Types of foods consumed for breakfast: Foods that
were routinely consumed at breakfast by Group I and
Group II were cereal (23.3%) and, cereal and pulse
(42.4%) based items. 9.7% consumed cereal and
milk based or cereal, pulse and milk combination or
just milk. 3.4% consumed eggs and 2.11% fruits.
Self report of symptoms by the subjects: Self reports
of feelings of children indicated that 91.4% in Group
I did not feel sleepy during the morning session of
the school compared to 59.4% in Group II and nearly
75 % in Group III. The difference was significant at
P<0.001. Group I (97.5%) was able to concentrate
better during morning session of the school
compared to Group II (77.3%) and Group III (54%).
These differences were statistically significant
(P<0.001).
Reasons for skipping or not eating breakfast: Fig. 1
shows the distribution of groups according to their
reasons for skipping breakfast. These results indicate
poor time management as a major reason that
prevented children from eating breakfast and
mothers from preparing the same.
DISCUSSION
Results indicate that regular habit of eating breakfast
as opposed to irregular consumption or skipping
breakfast altogether had beneficial influence on
attention-concentration, memory and school
achievement. More than any other meal, the eating of
breakfast is probably the first to get compromised as
a result of poor time management. This fact is borne
out in the study by Ortega, et al.(9) that found
children eating a more substantial breakfast during
holidays than on school days. The findings of the
present study also indicate constraints on time as the
major reason for skipping, apart from mothers not
having the time to cook and a monotonous type of
breakfast preparation.
Seventy percent children consumed cereal based
or cereal and pulse based breakfast. Almost 10
percent consumed cereal plus milk based or cereal,
pulse and milk combination or just milk. Few
children consumed eggs and fruit. Studies
elsewhere, found that cereal, milk and dairy products
were major breakfast constituents among children
and adolescents(10). Notwithstanding the type of
breakfast, the results in the present study showed that
eating breakfast on a regular basis had beneficial
effect on school achievement and attention-
concentration.
Children’s subjective feelings of sleepiness and
lack of concentration during the morning session of
the school substantiated the findings on the Letter
Cancellation test. Group I children responded that
they were able to concentrate in class during the
morning session of school. These results were not
observed by many other studies, except the one by
Fernald, et al.(11) who found that children in well-
equipped classrooms paid more attention in class
after having breakfast. Group III children responded
that they did not feel hungry in the morning session
of the school. This finding may be attributed to the
formation of the habit of remaining hungry to the
extent that it becomes imperceptible over time. The
FIG. 1 Reasons for skipping breakfast.
GAJRE, et al. BREAKFAST AND SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT
INDIAN PEDIATRICS 828 VOLUME 45__OCTOBER 17, 2008
differences between the groups on feelings of hunger
were not significant. On the contrary, another
study(12) demonstrated that participation in school
breakfast program enhanced daily nutrient intake
and decreased feelings of hunger.
The results of the multiple regression analysis
indicate significant association between the
independent variables viz., regular breakfast eating
habit, maternal education (higher) and maternal
employment, weight for age and nuclear type of
family with the dependent variables viz., attention-
concentration, immediate memory and school
achievement. Maternal employment was not an
obstacle to consumption of breakfast. Students who
regularly consumed breakfast were better nourished
(weight for age index) and achieved higher scores on
the immediate recall memory test and performed
significantly better on the letter cancellation test
(attention-concentration).
Contributors: NSG was involved in the data collection,
and preparation of the manuscript. SF was involved in data
collection for psychological parameters and drafting of the
manuscript. NBK was instrumental in data analysis. SV
developed the concept, interpreted the results, and
corrected the manuscript. She will act as guarantor of the
study.
Funding: National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR),
Hyderabad, India.
Competing interests: None stated.
REFERENCES
1. Wurtman RJ, Judith J, Wurtman J. Determinants of
the availability of nutrients to brain. Cereb Nut
Energy Metab 1977; 1: 103-129.
2. Center on Hunger, Poverty, and Nutrition Policy.
Statement on the Link between Nutrition and
Cognitive Development in Children. Medford,
MA: Tufts University School of Nutrition; 1995.
3. Pollitt E, Leibel R, Greenfield D. Brief fasting,
stress, and cognition in children. Am J Clin Nutr
1991; 34: 1526-1533.
4. Pollitt E. Does breakfast make a difference in
school? Child Nut Health Campaign 1995; 10:
1134-1135.
5. Anastasi A. Psychological Testing. New York;
MacMillan Company; 1976.
6. Vazir S, Balakrishna N, Vijayapushpam T,
Vijayaraghavan K, Sivakumar B. Effect of
micronutrient supplementation on health and
nutritional status of school children : mental
functions. Nutrition 2006; 22: S26- S32 (suppl).
7. Hamill PVV, Drizd TA, Johnson CL, Reed RB,
Roche AF. Growth curves for children: birth to 18
years. Hyattsville: US Department of Health
Statistics, Series II, DHEW/PUB/PH5 1977. p. 78-
1650.
8. Narayana Rao S. Socioeconomic Status Rating
Scale (SESRS). Indian Soc Sci 1973; 2: 206-219.
9. Ortega RM, Requejo AM, Redondo R, Lopez-
Sobaler AM, Andres P, Ortega A, et al. Breakfast
habits of different groups of Spanish school
children. Hum Nutr Diet 1996; 9: 33-41.
10. Preziosi P, Galan P, Deheeger M, Yacoub N.
Breakfast type, daily nutrient intakes and vitamin
and mineral status of French Children, adolescents
and adults. Am Coll Nut 1999; 18: 171-178.
11. Fernald L, Ani CC, Grantham-McGregor S. Does
breakfast benefits children’s educational
performance? Afr Health1997; 19: 19-20.
12. Kleinman RE. Hunger in children in the United
States: Potential behavioral and emotional
correlates. Pediatrics 1998; 101: E3.
WHAT IS ALREADY KNOWN?
Micronutrient supplementation improves attention concentration among school children.
WHAT T HIS S TUDY ADDS?
Regular habit of consuming breakfast can improve attention-concentration, memory and school achievement.
... Food consumption patterns of respondents were assessed using a standardized food frequency questionnaire [24]. The Kaufman Assessments Battery (KABC-II) was used to assess adolescents' cognitive performance which is made up of a series of tests which measure Sequential processing, Simultaneous processing and planning ability [26]. From the tests which measure Sequential processing (short term memory), Number Recall, Word Order and Hand Movement were used. ...
... This is higher as compared to other countries. Study conducted in India showed that 62.3% of the adolescents habitually consumed breakfast, whereas 33.8% consumed it irregularly skipping it 2 or 3 times per week [26]. Another study done in Hong Kong showed that 30.5% of the early adolescents skip breakfast for at least one day in a week [27]. ...
... Other study done in Indian children aged 11-13 years old reported significant association between regular breakfast consumption patterns and immediate recall memory test as well as letter cancellation test (attention-concentration) [26]. Studies had reported that regular breakfast eaters had shown to have improved short-term memory function and increased alertness [6 and 32] and adolescents who were not consuming-breakfast had a decline in performance on verbal fluency test [33; 34 and 35]. ...
... They only consume drinks at breakfast (26.1%), such as water, milk or tea and 44.6% consume low-quality breakfast [12]. Ignoring breakfast eating activities also brings on a decrease in children's attention, concentration, and memory while studying at school [8]. If the decrease in attention and concentration continues, it is feared that it will affect children's learning achievement. ...
... This happens because in the physiological processes of the brain and central nervous system, a lot of energy intake obtained from the digestion of food carbohydrates is very necessary [11], and this carbohydrate is needed for the process of forming ATP which will later become fuel for brain cells to work. If the carbohydrate intake as an energy supply is insufficient, the brain certainly will not work optimally in carrying out its functions as a regulator of memory, concentration, and attention [8]. In addition, skeletal muscles also need energy to work. ...
... In another study, involving 30 Americans aged 9 -11, skipping breakfast had an impact on the decrease of the students' auditory attention but had no significant effect on their visual attention (Mahoney et al., 2005). Gajre et al. (2008), with 379 Indian children (11-13 years old), concluded that there is evidence of better attention/concentration performance among those who have breakfast on a regular daily basis, compared to those who have breakfast from time to time or skip it. In the United Kingdom, among 1386 children and youth aged between 6 and 16, those who had breakfast did better in their attention span tests (Wesnes et al., 2012). ...
... Lien(3) conducted another research that involved 7305 Norwegian students who were between 5 and 16, over 2 school years and showed highest school results in students who have breakfast daily. Likewise, Gajre et al. (2008) concluded that regular breakfast consumption has a positive effect on school results. His study involved 379 Indian students (aged between 11 and 13 years), in an ex post facto design, whose assessment on a single day was based on regular, irregular breakfast consumption and no breakfast. ...
... Since breakfast is the first meal of the day which sets the metabolic rate, if breakfast is skipped, brain interprets it as starving setting a lower metabolic rate leading to weight gain when one eats later. The habit of breakfast skipping is also a risk factor for the incidence of anaemia among educated youth (81,82) . Research conducted by Ansar et al. (83) found that young women who did not eat breakfast showed lower mean haemoglobin (12⋅03 g/dl) compared to those who were regular in their breakfast (12⋅63 g/dl). ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study was conducted to determine nutritional anaemia using haemoglobin levels of female nursing undergraduates studying at Farasan Island with the purpose to intervene at a point, before the potential problems become serious later in life. In total, 130 apparently healthy, female students of Department of Nursing were recruited by a random sampling method to collect information on socio-demographic, lifestyle and anthropogenic characteristics, and dietary habits including breakfast skipping. Haemoglobin content was estimated using Sahli's Haemoglobinometer and observations were interpreted as per WHO's criteria for anaemia. Body mass index (BMI) was recorded using a digital weighing machine. Correlation between haemoglobin concentration, breakfast skipping and body mass index of study participants was assessed by Pearson's correlation. Data analyses were done using Origin software. Overall, 51⋅6 % ( n = 67) students were all together anaemic with 28⋅5 % ( n = 37) had mild anaemia, 15⋅4 % ( n = 20) moderate and 7⋅69 % ( n = 10) had severe anaemia. Of these, 20⋅8 % ( n = 27) were underweight, 63⋅8 % ( n = 83) normal weight and 15⋅4 % ( n = 20) were above normal weight (over weight and obese). The Hb content showed a positive correlation with the BMI and exhibited an increasing trend with increase in the BMI among study participants ( P < 0⋅05). Questionnaire analyses revealed that the majority (96⋅9 %, n = 126) of students were taking junk food as bulk of their meal. A strong negative correlation was recorded between Hb contents and breakfast skipping tendencies ( r = −0⋅987, P < 0⋅05). Findings of the present study are of high significance for public health professionals and educators to prioritise actions that could motivate these future nurses to adapt healthy lifestyles to strategically combat nutritional anaemia.
... Some studies have linked skipping of meals with occurrence of overweight and obesity [18]. Studies have also linked meal skipping behaviour, particularly breakfast skipping, to adverse adolescents' nutritional status, impaired cognitive performance and reduced quality of life [19]. Keski-Rahkonen et al. [20] also stated that missing meals promotes the replacement of meals with snacks, which are energy dense and nutritionally inadequate, especially with regard to micronutrients. ...
Article
Full-text available
The prevalence of overweight and obesity especially among adolescent girls has increased at an alarming rate in many parts of the world. This study was designed to assess the diet, physical activity and food consumption pattern of adolescent girls in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. A descriptive cross sectional survey carried out using a pre-tested self-administered structured questionnaire among 236 adolescent girls aged 10-16 years from randomly selected secondary schools in Port Harcourt. A self-administered questionnaire used to collect data on diet, physical activity and food consumption patterns of the respondents. The collected data analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 19.0). The frequency and descriptive analysis were included in the data analysis. The result revealed that a high percentage of girls (55.71%) skip their breakfast sometimes, consumed light meals (47.71%), had their meals thrice per day (61.43%) and eats occasionally from outside their homes (55.71%). The result also showed that rice (44.92%), yam (69.49%), sweet potatoes (47.88%), beans (33.90%), vegetables (47.88%), milk and milk products (36.86%) and energy dense beverages (38.14%) mostly consumed 1-2 times per week, while fish (51.27%), meat (51.27%), fruits (33.05%) and snacks (49.58%) were more consumed daily by the adolescent girls. The result also revealed that the girls were more active in dancing, walking for exercise and jogging/running. It was also found out that more than 60% or more of the adolescent girls were participating in some kind of regular physical activity on a weekly basis. The findings emphasize an urgent need for implementing an appropriate intervention for breakfast consumption, improving vegetable intake and daily milk consumption as this could assist in preventing the development of diseases associated with an inadequate intake of nutritious food.
... A local study of middle school children in Mianyang City, China found that more frequent eating of breakfast was associated with improved test-based comprehensive academic performance (Chen et al. 2020); a large-scale associational study of school records for 147,781 primary and middle schoolchildren in Jiangsu province similarly identi ed skipping breakfast was common, but also con rmed it was associated with worse academic scores (Yao et al. 2019). In a study of 379 urban middle school children in India, those who regularly ate breakfast performed better in mathematics, English, and overall scores for the prior year (Gajre et al. 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Breakfast is regarded as “the most important meal of the day”, suggested to positively affect learning in children and adolescent in terms of cognitive and school performance. Yet, studies in LMIC settings are few, and show very inconsistent results. Objective: To assess the prevalence and correlates of breakfast skipping and its association with school performance among randomly selected in-school adolescents in HidhabuAboteWereda North Shewa Zone, Central Ethiopia. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted from November to December 2020. A total of 422 participants were selected randomly from high schools of Hidhabu Abote Wereda. Data were entered in to Epiata version 3.1 and exported to SPSS version 24 for analysis. Bivariate and multivariate binary logistic regression analysis identified factors that were significantly associated with the breakfast skipping. Odds ratio along with 95% Confidence interval was estimated to measure the strength of the association and level of statistical significance declared at p-value less than 0.05. Results: The magnitude of breakfast skipping was 41.3%, (95% CI: (36.6-46.0)].There was statistically significant association between breakfast skipping and overall academic performance [AOR: 5.18, 95%CI (1.54-7.46)], mathematics performance (3.88, 95%CI (1.34-11.22)], and English language performance scores [2.92, 95%CI (1.38-7.58)]. Being female [AOR = 1.857, 95% CI (1.05-3.27)], household food insecurity [AOR: 2.478, 95% CI (1.36-4.51)], and less maternal education [AOR: 1.89, 95%CL (3.38-7.77)] were independently associated with breakfast skipping. The primary reasons given for breakfast skipping were lack of time, lack of appetite in morning, and concerns around weight gain. Conclusion: Nearly half of in school adolescents were skipped breakfast meals, and reportedly in most cases for reasons unrelated to lack of food access. Students who skipped breakfast had lower levels of school performance.
... Apabila kadar glukosa darah di dalam tubuh menurun, maka dapat mempengaruhi fungsi otak seperti sulit berkonsentrasi dan menghafal. 35 Kadar Ghrelin dan leptin dipengaruhi oleh durasi dan kualitas tidur. Kualitas tidur yang baik dan durasi tidur yang tidak cukup mampu meningkatkan kadar hormon Ghrelin dan menurunkan hormon Leptin. ...
Article
Latar Belakang: Gizi merupakan salah satu faktor eksternal yang mempengaruhi kualitas menghafal.Tujuan: Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui tingkat kecukupan gizi, status gizi, serta status anemia mahasiswa penghafal AL Qur’an di UIN Walisongo Semarang.Metode: Penelitian ini menggunakan metode kualitatif dan kuantitatif. Data asupan gizi diperoleh dengan food recall 3x24 jam. Wawancara mendalam dilakukan untuk memperoleh data terkait perilaku makan dalam menghafal Al Qur’an. Data status gizi diperoleh melalui pengukuran antropometri. Data status anemia diperoleh melalui pengujian kadar Hb dengan metode sahli. Analisis isi digunakan untuk data kualitatif, sedangkan analisis deskriptif digunakan untuk data kuantitatif.Hasil: Terdapat beberapa amalan terkait pola makan yang dilakukan dalam menghafal Al Qur’an, diantaranya adalah Puasa Dala’il, Puasa Mutih, Ngrowot, dan Ngeruh. Subjek penelitian memiliki tingkat kecukupan energi yang normal (45,45%), protein yang normal (72,72%), karbohidrat yang kurang (72,72%), zat besi yang kurang (90,91%), dan tingkat kecukupan lemak yang lebih (63,64%). Keseluruhan subjek penelitian (100%) memiliki tingkat kecukupan serat yang kurang. Subjek penelitian memiliki status gizi kurang (9,09%), status gizi lebih atau overweight (18,18%), obesitas (9,09%), status gizi normal (63,64%), dan mengalami anemia (36,36%). Simpulan: Mayoritas subjek penelitian berstatus gizi normal dan tidak anemia, tetapi masih diperlukan perencanaan diet yang tepat agar kecukupan energi dan zat gizi dapat terpenuhi dengan baik.
Article
Background: Children of school going age constitute a highly vulnerable and important group. During their growing period, all the nutrients should be included in their diet. Breakfast provides important nutrients for growing children. Skipping breakfast among school children is erratic. Therefore, the study was undertaken to assess the role of breakfast consumption affecting nutritional adequacy among schoolchildren. Methods: During the period 2015-2016, total of 200 school children in the age group of 10-12 years studying in government and private schools of North Bengaluru, Karnataka were selected through random sampling techniques. The breakfast consumption pattern was assessed using questionnaire. Dietary intake in terms of food and nutrients was assessed through 24 hours recall method. To measure adequacy of nutrient consumption, the obtained data was compared with recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for specific age group. Result: Gender wise segregation revealed that 109 were boys (54.5%) and 91 were girls (45.5%). The breakfast skipping was found more in the children of government school compared to private school (73% vs. 37%). When compared with the breakfast consumers, skippers had lower mean intake of all the nutrients studied. Similar results were observed among girls as in boys. The study provided new information on specific meal pattern i.e., breakfast that may be potential determinant of dietary adequacy and dietary quality.
Article
Background There is a lack of data regarding breakfast consumption and quality among college students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Objective The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of breakfast consumption and examine the effect of breakfast location on breakfast nutritional quality and obesity risk among female college students at Taibah University. Methods A total of 658 students participated in this cross-sectional study. Based on the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) recommendations, breakfast quality scores were computed by summing the individual food components and categorizing participants according to tertiles of the breakfast score distribution. Mixed-effects repeatedmeasures models were used to examine BMI categories with increasing tertiles of breakfast quality scores, stratified by breakfast location. Results and Discussion Approximately 68% of participants reported eating breakfast regularly. The mean breakfast quality score was determined for students who had breakfast at home (12.5 ± 0.11), at college (10.41± 0.06), and in other places (8.19± 0.48). Obesity was associated with lower average breakfast quality scores based on breakfast location [mean quintile 3 compared with 1 difference: home 13.6 (P < 0.001), college 9.1 (P < 0.001), other 8.6 (P < 0.001). Conclusion The findings presented here indicated that a high percentage of students consume breakfast regularly. Students who ate breakfast at home had high scores, which indicated good breakfast quality and a decreased risk of obesity. Further research on breakfast quality is needed in this area, as it affects the nutritional status and quality of life of the younger population.
Article
Aim Breakfast plays an important role in the academic performance and mental health of adolescents. This study explored factors associated with breakfast skipping in high school students in South Korea. Methods A cross‐sectional survey was completed by 1684 high school students. A logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the factors associated with skipping breakfast, including sociodemographic factors, mental health problems (such as depression and anxiety), sleep and smartphone use patterns. Results A total of 29.2% of the adolescents reported skipping breakfast and girls were significantly more likely to skip breakfast than boys (P < .001). The breakfast skipping group spent more time using a smartphone on weekdays [mean (SD) = 186.2 (180.0) min/d] than the breakfast eating group [mean (SD) = 110.2 (111.5) min/d] (P < .001). The Korean scale for smartphone addiction (S‐scale) score was higher in the breakfast skipping group (P = .006). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that female gender, poor academic performance (odds ratio (OR), 1.575; 95% CI, 1.166‐2.126, P = .003), depression (OR, 1.023; 95% CI, 1.002‐1.043, P = .031), time spent using a smartphone on weekdays (OR, 1.003; 95% CI, 1.002‐1.004, P < .001), and low parental monitoring of smartphone use were significantly associated with skipping breakfast. Conclusions Findings indicate that unhealthy lifestyle including smartphone overuse negatively affects breakfast eating in adolescents. School‐based nutritional programs should be designed to assess and overcome various individual factors associated with breakfast skipping.
Article
A questionnaire was used to investigate the schoolday and holiday breakfast habits of a group of 742 pupils (420 boys and 322 girls) aged between 9 and 13 years. The subjects attended four different schools in Madrid with populations of medium and medium–high socioeconomic level. Most pupils (53%) ate dairy products and cereals for breakfast and 10% also ate fruit: breakfasts that could be considered adequate or satisfactory. However, it was also observed that 17% of boys and 33% of girls took only dairy products at breakfast. In most cases (98%) this was limited to a glass of milk, an intake insufficient to start the day. Three per cent of boys and 5% of girls took no breakfast at all. Boys in general and the younger children of the sample spent more time at breakfast than girls or older children. They also included a wider variety of foods in their breakfasts. Most of the schoolchildren had breakfast at home (95%), either alone (42%) or with their brothers and sisters (43%). Only 25% had breakfast with their parents. Breakfast made a contribution of 15.6±0.4% to the recommended daily intake of energy. In 88% of cases, the contribution of breakfast was lower than 25% of total calories, the advisable level for this meal. During holidays the percentage of children who took no breakfast decreased to 2% of boys and 1% of girls. However, the differences observed between holidays and working days were not great. Perhaps the most important difference lies in the time spent eating breakfast, 10.8±0.3 minutes on schooldays and 20±0.6 minutes during holidays (P<0.001). The modification of dietary habits to increase the quantity and variety of foods consumed before starting daily activity probably has a positive impact on physical and intellectual performance. It would also help in the attainment of better nutritional status and better health.
Article
Effects of skipping breakfast on speed and accuracy of response in a number of problem solving tasks were assessed in 9- to 11-yr-old, well-nourished children. The conceptual framework for this study was derived from an experimental model of the effects of mild environmental stress, e.g., noise, on human performance. Plasma glucose, beta-hydroxybutyrate, lactate, and free fatty acids were used as indicators of the induced metabolic stress, and the extent of their association with the behavioral measures was determined. Fasting had an adverse effect on the accuracy of responses in problem solving, but it had a beneficial effect on immediate recall in short-term memory. Both effects are explained by a heightened arousal level associated with the brief experimental fast.
Article
This article reviews selectively the literature on the effects of breakfast on cognition and school performance. The focus is on studies published in refereed journals after 1978 that tested those effects on well-nourished and nutritionally at-risk children. In at-risk subjects (defined by clinical history and anthropometry), a morning and overnight fast had adverse effects on cognition, particularly the speed of information retrieval in working memory. Contradictions in the data from different studies prevent definitive conclusions on whether well-nourished children experience similar functional deficits. Nonetheless, available information suggests that brain function is sensitive to short-term variations in the availability of nutrient supplies. Moreover, well-conducted evaluations suggest that the availability of feeding programs in public schools throughout the academic year increases the probability that children will eat breakfast and improve their educational status.
Article
Results from a recent series of surveys from 9 states and the District of Columbia by the Community Childhood Hunger Identification Project (CCHIP) provide an estimate that 4 million American children experience prolonged periodic food insufficiency and hunger each year, 8% of the children under the age of 12 in this country. The same studies show that an additional 10 million children are at risk for hunger. The current study examined the relationship between hunger as defined by the CCHIP measure (food insufficiency attributable to constrained resources) and variables reflecting the psychosocial functioning of low-income, school-aged children. The study group included 328 parents and children from a CCHIP study of families with at least 1 child under the age of 12 years living in the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding Allegheny County. A two-stage area probability sampling design with standard cluster techniques was used. All parents whose child was between the ages of 6 and 12 years at the time of interview were asked to complete a Pediatric Symptom Checklist, a brief parent-report questionnaire that assesses children's emotional and behavioral symptoms. Hunger status was defined by parent responses to the standard 8 food-insufficiency questions from the CCHIP survey that are used to classify households and children as "hungry," "at-risk for hunger," or "not hungry." In an area probability sample of low-income families, those defined as hungry on the CCHIP measure were significantly more likely to have clinical levels of psychosocial dysfunction on the Pediatric Symptom Checklist than children defined as at-risk for hunger or not hungry. Analysis of individual items and factor scores on the Pediatric Symptom Checklist showed that virtually all behavioral, emotional, and academic problems were more prevalent in hungry children, but that aggression and anxiety had the strongest degree of association with experiences of hunger. Children from families that report multiple experiences of food insufficiency and hunger are more likely to show behavioral, emotional, and academic problems on a standardized measure of psychosocial dysfunction than children from the same low-income communities whose families do not report experiences of hunger. Although causality cannot be determined from a cross-sectional design, the strength of these findings suggests the importance of greater awareness on the part of health care providers and public health officials of the role of food insufficiency and hunger in the lives of poor children.
Article
To examine associations between the consumption of different types of breakfasts, dietary intakes, and selected indices of nutritional status. Dietary intakes were obtained using the dietary history method, and serum bioassays were used to assess vitamin and mineral status in a representative community-based sample of 1108 French children (ages 2 to 10 years), adolescents (ages 10 to 18 years), and adults (ages 18 to 65 years). Breakfasts were divided into three categories: low-energy (<15% of the energy RDA), medium-energy (15-25%) and high-energy (>25%). High-energy breakfasts were associated with the consumption of ready-to-eat (RTE) cereals. High-energy breakfasts and cereal consumption, both more common among children and adolescents than among adults, were also associated with a greater proportion of daily energy from carbohydrate and lower proportion of energy from fat. High-energy breakfasts and cereal consumption were further associated with higher intakes of vitamins and minerals as measured by percent RDAs. High-energy breakfasts and cereal consumption were associated with lower serum cholesterols and improved biochemical indices of nutritional status. Serum concentrations of vitamin B1 (in children and adolescents), vitamin B2 and beta-carotene (in adults) were significantly linked to the level of energy provided by breakfast. The consumption of breakfast cereals appears to have a positive impact on nutritional status regardless of age.
Article
This article reviews several research studies on the impact of the lack of breakfast among students. Recent data reveal that about 20% of Nigerian children were wasted or had weight-for-height measurements under the 5th percentile of the US National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) standard. In Ghana, 41% of children were underweight or had a weight-for-age under -2 standard deviations of the NCHS standards. In Tanzania, about 34% of children were underweight. Many more students in Africa are attending school, but many are leaving primary school early or failing secondary school examinations. It is argued that poor nutritional status affects children's ability to learn. Research reveals several hypotheses about how breakfast affects children's cognition, behavior, and school performance. Children may not attend school at all due to the inability to purchase food to eat at school, or insufficient food resources at home to provide sufficient energy to walk long distances to school. In four studies, two in the USA and the others in Peru and Jamaica, findings reveal that when undernourished children missed breakfast, they performed worse in tests of cognition. Adequately nourished children's performance was unaffected by missing breakfast. A study in four Jamaican schools found that children had more creative ideas when they received a breakfast for 2 weeks than when they did not receive breakfast. Two Swedish studies found that children with a high-calorie breakfast improved in cognition compared to those receiving a low-calorie breakfast. One study found that children in well-equipped classrooms paid more attention in class after having breakfast. Children in overcrowded classes and poorly equipped schools were less likely to pay attention after breakfast. Long-term effects are less well studied, but findings clearly support the benefits of breakfast.
Determinants of the availability of nutrients to brain
  • R J Wurtman
  • J Judith
  • J Wurtman
Wurtman RJ, Judith J, Wurtman J. Determinants of the availability of nutrients to brain. Cereb Nut Energy Metab 1977; 1: 103-129.
Poverty, and Nutrition Policy. Statement on the Link between Nutrition and Cognitive Development in Children
  • Hunger Center On
Center on Hunger, Poverty, and Nutrition Policy. Statement on the Link between Nutrition and Cognitive Development in Children. Medford, MA: Tufts University School of Nutrition; 1995.