Studies on the influence of breakfast on the mental performance of school children and adolescents

Original Article
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Abstract

Aim

The study determines the influences of breakfast in school on the cognitive abilities of pupils including the factors age, breakfast at home and SES.

Subjects and methods

One thousand one hundred eighty-one children and adolescents aged 8 to 18 years (9 primary and 4 secondary schools in Germany) participated in a crossover design. Seven different foods were examined according to the German diet. The test measures used were cognitive domain information processing, memory (KAI: General intelligence) and concentration (KT 3-4 R).

Results

The comprehensive evaluation of all assigned test foods shows a significant improvement in the mental performance for all test parameters. The measured improvement of mental performance increases with the age of the subjects. This is based on the decreasing percentage of children having breakfast at home. Breakfasting at home proves generally more effective compared with breakfast at school. The test food consumed suggests an important difference in the increase of mental performance as a function of their composition.

Conclusion

Based on the results obtained, it is highly recommended to offer breakfast at school, particularly at the secondary school level.

Keywords

Breakfast Mental performance Concentration ability School 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical University of Dortmund, Professorship for Health Promotion and Consumer EducationDortmundGermany

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