The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Community News Network

May 9, 2013

The connection between breakfast and academic achievement

Most people know it's hard for children to pay attention in school without eating breakfast. But now a team of researchers has found out why that is.

Researchers from Ohio State University took brain scans of students and found those who ate a nutritious breakfast and were physically active every day achieved higher test scores and had more focus in class.

"Hungry kids can't learn and we've known that for a long time," said Ohio State Professor Bob Murray, M.D. "But now we know why they are not learning and what areas of the brain are really hindering that."

The skippers

According to statistics, 62 percent of teenagers skip breakfast once a week.

And based on figures released by The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success Through Healthy School Environments, only 38 percent of teens eat breakfast every day.

Unfortunately, many schools don't offer breakfast because of budgetary cutbacks, but Duke Storen, director of Partner Impact at Share Our Strength says it's still the school's responsibility to provide certain meals.

Storen believes schools providing breakfast not only help kids in the classroom, but it will help them in adulthood as well.

"Schools play a critical role in ending childhood hunger by connecting kids with healthy meals that do much more than provide essential nutrition. They improve a student's ability to focus and thrive in the classroom," said Storen.

"For example, research shows that the seemingly simple act of ensuring that children get school breakfast offers the potential for students to experience greater academic achievement, increased job readiness and ultimately more economic prosperity for our nation. Stronger, better nourished kids mean a stronger America," he said.

The evidence

Share Our Strength revealed these statistics:

  • Kids who regularly ate breakfast attended school 1.5 more days than kids who didn't. And children who ate breakfast every morning scored 17.5 percent higher than children who didn't.
  • In a recent case study, researchers learned there are about 81,000 low-income elementary and middle school students in Maryland who receive lunch at school -- but not breakfast.
  • According to estimates, if Maryland schools gave breakfast to 70 percent of these kids, 56,000 additional students could achieve math proficiency and 14,000 more students would graduate high school. And schools would see 84,890 fewer absences among students as well.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

Graduation Salutes
Seasonal Content