Thursday, March 26, 2015
Ever wondered what could be the secret to good grades in school? One of the factors could very well be breakfast! A new study from University of Iowa found that children from low income families attending schools which provided breakfast performed well academically in math, science, and reading as compared to those who attended school which did not provide breakfast. The result of the study helps strengthen the connection between good nutrition and good grades.
The study, published in the journal Public Economics, was conducted among students who attended schools that participated in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's School Breakfast Program (SBP). Started in 1966, this program offers subsidised breakfasts if a certain percentage of their overall student strength comes from families that meet income eligibility guidelines.
The researchers of the study examined academic performance from students in schools that offered breakfast versus those in schools which did not. They found that breakfast consumption was associated with significantly better academic performance and this impact was cumulative. They noted a 25% increase in math scores during a students' elementary school tenure. Reading and science scores were also significantly better than students who were not given breakfast.
"These results suggest that the persistent exposure to the relatively more nutritious breakfast offered through the subsidized breakfast program throughout elementary school can yield important gains in achievement," said the researchers.
This study can also be a model for other public health initiatives which are targeted at improving not just the nutrition but also the educational capacity of students from low income families
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