February 5, 2013
Science Daily/University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
New research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing has found that children who regularly have breakfast on a near-daily basis had significantly higher full scale, verbal, and performance IQ test scores.
In one of the first studies to examine IQ and breakfast consumption, researchers examined data from 1,269 children six years old in China, where breakfast is highly valued, and concluded that children who did not eat breakfast regularly had 5.58 points lower verbal, 2.50 points lower performance, and 4.6 points lower total IQ scores than children who often or always ate breakfast after adjusting for seven sociodemographic confounders.
The researchers suggest that schools play a role in stressing the importance of eating breakfast by delaying start times and/or providing breakfast to allow students to profit from the cognitive benefits of eating before a morning curriculum.
"Because adequate nutrition in early childhood has been linked to increased IQ through childhood, which is related to decreased childhood behavioral disorders, better career satisfaction, and socioeconomic success in adults, breakfast consumption could ultimately benefit long-term physical and mental health outcomes as well a quality of life," said Dr. Liu.
"These findings may reflect nutritional as well as social benefits of breakfast consumption on children and hold important public health implications regarding regular breakfast consumption in early young children.