School Wide Activity

Initiative Description: An evaluation study of a Universal School Breakfast Program was conducted in six pilot elementary schools in a Midwestern state over a 3-year period to determine whether eating school breakfast resulted in cognitive and educational benefits as well as health and social benefits. Study reports the results of a survey administered to students at the end of the 3-year pilot program to examine perceptions of the benefits and barriers related to eating breakfast with attention paid to weight-related eating practices.

Study Results: The majority of students perceived that eating breakfast provides benefits of increased energy and the ability to pay attention in school. This belief was also associated with higher mental health and less desires to alter body by dieting behaviors.

Reference: Reddan, J., Wahlstrom, K. L., & Reicks, M. (2002). Children’s perceived benefits and barriers in relation to eating breakfast in schools with or without universal school breakfast. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 34(1), 47–52.

Level of Evidence: 3 out of 5 stars Very Good