Mothers have always intuitively known that a healthy breakfast is essential if to keep their school-going children active and attentive. But even they don’t know how it can directly affect their academic performance. Now, a new study shows just that.Researchers say that students who include nutritional foods such as fruit, nuts and fibre in their breakfast are more likely to exceed expectations in school. They are twice as likely to perform above average, compared to their peers.

A team of public health experts at Cardiff University undertook a study on 5000 students between the ages of 9 and 11, from more than 100 primary schools, to determine any potential linkages between superlative quality morning meals and academic excellence. Students were asked to list down their food consumption for just over 24 hours, which would have included two breakfasts, along with other meals. Along with the breakfast nutrient composition, other factors such as intake of oily snacks, bakery products and candy during other parts of the day were also considered whilst drawing inferences.

“This study therefore offers the strongest evidence yet, of links between aspects of what pupils eat and how well they do at school, which has significant implications for education and public health policy.”

Hannah Littlecott, lead author of the study on the Cardiff University website.

Littlecott also emphasizes that embedding health improvements into the core business of the school might also deliver further educational improvements as well. For most private schools in India, however, the study comes as an unsolicited distraction from their main operations, especially since the main focus continues to be educational excellence. However, it is interesting that this invisible clash overlooks the synergy between good health and educational success, where the latter feeds off the former.

The take-away is that whilst most parents are clamouring for better results, educational outcomes and performance, the fundamentals of health, nutrition and one’s well being must not be sacrificed and forgotten. There is clear evidence now that good nutrition is as essential for academic performance as the provision of effective schooling support. In short, make sure your child eats a hearty breakfast before starting his day at the school!



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