An unhealthy breakfast is just as bad for your child's school performance as skipping breakfast

Breakfast is an important meal

that provides energy to the brain and body throughout the day , and many parents understand the importance of their children having breakfast. A new study examining the impact of breakfast quality on children's school life showed that children who ate an 'unhealthy breakfast' had the same negative impact on motivation and achievement as children who 'skipped breakfast.'

A Healthy Breakfast Each and Every Day is Important for Students' Motivation and Achievement'_Motivation_and_Achievement

Our research suggests eating an unhealthy breakfast could have a similar effect on your child's school day as having nothing at all

Andrew Martin, a professor of educational psychology at the University of New South Wales in Australia, and his colleagues focused on 'eating breakfast' as a way to improve students' learning methods. Things like 'teacher quality of teaching' and 'fundamental learning skills' are difficult to control and cannot be improved overnight, but simply eating breakfast is easy and schools can intervene.

As part of an Australian Research Council project, the researchers surveyed 648 high school students from five private schools in New South Wales. Two of the schools were boys' schools, two were girls' schools, and one was coeducational. The students were in years 7 to 9, with an average age of 13 to 14.

First, the students answered questions such as 'Did you eat breakfast that morning?' and 'What do you eat for breakfast?' in an online survey. Next, they self-evaluated their motivation and confidence in science classes, as well as their level of concentration in class, and took a test based on the content of the syllabus.

The research team used the Australian Dietary Guidelines to create a score for how often students consumed healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, protein, whole grains and water for breakfast, as well as how often they consumed unhealthy breakfasts such as sugary soft drinks, processed meats, fast food, unhealthy breads and snacks, and then scored how healthy their breakfast was.

The analysis showed that students who had a healthy breakfast on the morning of the study showed higher motivation and a sense of accomplishment in science class. This means that they were more confident and focused in science class. It was also reported that students who had a healthy breakfast tended to achieve higher grades in tests.

On the other hand, the researchers also found that students who didn't eat breakfast had lower motivation and a sense of accomplishment. While this wasn't unexpected, the research team was surprised that students who ate an unhealthy breakfast had the same low motivation and sense of accomplishment as students who didn't eat breakfast.

In addition, even students who had previously performed well in science were less motivated and less fulfilled if they skipped breakfast or ate an unhealthy breakfast. These results suggest that eating an unhealthy breakfast can be just as detrimental to motivation and fulfillment as not eating breakfast at all.

The study doesn't know the exact reason why eating an unhealthy breakfast makes you less motivated to attend class, but the team thinks it might be because it doesn't properly fuel your mind and body, preventing you from turning on your academics.

However, because the study participants were limited to private school students, further research is needed to understand the socio-economic aspects of breakfast eating.

Martin and his colleagues suggest the following ways to encourage students to eat a healthy breakfast:

- Serve a healthy breakfast or snack at school.
- Educate people about the importance of a healthy breakfast.
- Providing information to parents about the importance of a healthy breakfast, meal ideas and how to feed their children.

In addition, when schools provide breakfast to children, they need to take into consideration children who do not want to eat free breakfast due to social stigma , children who do not want to eat at school because they are concerned about their body shape, and children who cannot eat certain foods due to religious reasons.

'Our results suggest that if these barriers are effectively managed, eating a healthy breakfast daily can lead to positive academic outcomes and make an achievable difference to students' school experiences,' Martin and colleagues wrote.

in Science,   Junk Food, Posted by log1h_ik