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Impact of School Breakfast on Children's Health and Learning

Abstract

"The body of evidence, drawn from more than 100 published research articles, provides the scientific basis for concluding that the School Breakfast Program (SBP) is highly effective in terms of providing children with a stronger basis to learn in school, eat more nutritious diets, and lead more healthy lives both emotionally and physically. Participation in the SBP is also economically desirable for our nation, the research shows.

While no single study necessarily provides a uniquely definitive assessment of the SBP's benefits, and while some studies occasionally reach differing conclusions, the combined and quite consistent message of this body of research is that serving breakfast to those schoolchildren who don't get it elsewhere significantly improves their cognitive or mental abilities, enabling them to be more alert, pay better attention, and to do better in terms of reading, math and other standardized test scores. Children who eat breakfast also are sick less often, have fewer problems associated with hunger, such as dizziness, lethargy, stomachaches and earaches, and do significantly better than their non-breakfasted peers in terms of cooperation, discipline and inter-personal behaviors."

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