Chang, Susan M.; Grantham McGregor, Sally M.; Walker, Susan P.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Metabolism Research Unit
The effects of breakfast on classroom behaviours in under-nourished and adequately nourished school children.
Date of Publication
Examines the effects of giving breakfast on classroom behaviours in 60 undernourished and 60 adequately nourished children, aged 8-11 years, selected from 4 poor rural schools. The children were observed twice, once after receiving breakfast and once after a placebo. The behaviours were observed in teaching and set task situations and included attention to task, talking to another child, gross motor behaviour and responding to teacher. A time sampling method was used. The undernourished children moved around the classroom more than the adequately nourished children. The impact of breakfast varied among the schools but not between nutritional groups. In the school which was better equipped and organized, the children were more attentive (p 0.01) and moved less (p 0.05) when they received breakfast. In the poorer schools there was no improvement and in one, the children's attention to task was less when given breakfast (p 0.02). School breakfasts may only benefit children's behaviours in the presence of satifactory classroom infrastructure.....