Essential Nutrients-Cognition:  Research Article

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Effects of Breakfast in Schoolchildren

This table comes from Janina R. Galler (editor).  Nutrition and Behavior.  1984. Plenum Press New York. 
This book is out of print.
Table I. Summary of Studies on the Effects of Breakfast in Schoolchildren
Author Sample Design Measures Results
Laird et al. (1931) 48 From grades
1,3, and 5
Three groups with no special feeding. one with milk. one with milk + calcium over 2 weeks. Teacher ratings 16% Mean reduction of "nervousness," more careful thinking.
Keister (1950) 133 Nursery-school children Subjects studied twice when receiving fruit juice, twice with water. Hyperactivity, withdrawal, hostile behavior, nervous habits measured by 30-sec observation Less negative behaviors with pineapple juice; no age differences, but males show more reduction of negative behaviors.
Matheson (1970) 100 Fifth-graders from three schools Each subject observed on day with orange juice supplement, or control, over 10-day period. Arithmetic and decoding task Significant improvement on both tasks, not related to normal breakfast habits; most effect at 11:45 and 10:30 feedings.
Dwyer et al. (1973) 139 First-grade males Half of subjects got liquid supplement in morning, half in afternoon. Slow tapping test, digit test, block test No effects on any tasks; no relation to habits of sporadic or regular breakfast.
Tuttle et al. (1954) 12–14-Year-old males Alternation between breakfast or no breakfast for 17 weeks with total daily nutrient intake kept constant. Neuromuscular tremor choice reaction time, grip strength, grip endurance, bicycle ergometer No effects except on work output on ergometer; no difference in type of
Arvedson et al. (1969 203 Children ages 7–17 40 Subjects divided into two groups, with two high-carbohydrate and two high-protein breakfasts. Bicycle ergometer Only one third ate breakfast containing 25% of daily calories; no effects of type of breakfast.

Arvedson, I., Sterky, G., and Tjernstrom. K., 1969, Breakfast habits of Swedish school children. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 55:257.

Dwyer, J. T., Elias, M. F., and Warren, J. H., 1973, Effects of an experimental breakfast program on behavior in the late morning. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health.

Keister, M., 1950, Relation of mid-morning feeding to behavior of nursery school children, J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 26:25.

Laird, D. A., Levitan, M., and Wilson, V. A., 1931, Nervousness in school children as related to hunger and diet, Med. J. Rec. 134:494.

Matheson, N. E., 1910. Mid-morning nutrition and its effects on school type tasks, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern California (unpublished).

Tuttle, W. W., Daum, K., Larsen, R., Salzano, J., and Roloff, L., 1954, Effects on school boys of omitting breakfast: Physiologic responses, attitudes and scholastic attainment, J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 30:647.