Approximately 55,000 children in New Zealand do not eat breakfast on any given day. Regular breakfast skipping has been associated with poor diets, higher body mass index, and adverse effects on children's behaviour and academic performance. Research suggests that regular breakfast consumption can improve academic performance, nutrition and behaviour. This paper describes the protocol for a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial of a free school breakfast programme. The aim of the trial is to determine the effects of the breakfast intervention on school attendance, achievement, psychosocial function, dietary habits and food security.
Sixteen primary schools in the North Island of New Zealand will be randomised in a sequential stepped wedge design to a free before-school breakfast programme consisting of non-sugar coated breakfast cereal, milk products, and/or toast and spreads. Four hundred children aged 5-13 years (approximately 25 per school) will be recruited. Data collection will be undertaken once each school term over the 2010 school year (February to December). The primary trial outcome is school attendance, defined as the proportion of students achieving an attendance rate of 95% or higher. Secondary outcomes are academic achievement (literacy, numeracy, self-reported grades), sense of belonging at school, psychosocial function, dietary habits, and food security. A concurrent process evaluation seeks information on parents', schools' and providers' perspectives of the breakfast programme.
This randomised controlled trial will provide robust evidence of the effects of a school breakfast programme on students' attendance, achievement and nutrition. Furthermore the study provides an excellent example of the feasibility and value of the stepped wedge trial design in evaluating pragmatic public health intervention programmes.
Trial Registration Number
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) - ACTRN12609000854235
Few studies on impact of meals served in school have been published. However, implications of school meals are an actual issue of both public and political concern in several countries. The objective of this study was to evaluate if breakfast served in a lower secondary school could improve dietary habits and school performance among the students.
All students in 10th grade in a lower secondary school, consisting of two school classes, were invited to participate in a controlled study. The students in one class were offered a free breakfast at the beginning of each school day for 4 months, while the students in the second class were controls. Both classes were educated in the importance of healthy eating, and a data program enabling them to evaluate dietary intake was introduced. The students answered two questionnaires, one on school performance and one short food frequency questionnaire, four weeks before study start and one week after. Body weight and height were measured by the school nurse at the beginning and end of the study. Because of few students in each group, non-parametrical statistic analyses were used.
All students in the intervention group had breakfast at school during the intervention. One week after the intervention the students in the class who received breakfast had returned to their normal breakfast pattern. In the control group the frequency of a lunch intake had increase, as compared to before study start (p < 0.01). An improved food pattern was seen among the male students in the intervention group, as measured by a healthy eating index after the intervention (p < 0.01). Body Mass Index increased statistically significant in both males and females in the control group (p < 0,01 for males and p < 0.05 for females), but not in the intervention group. Improvement in school performance following school breakfast was not found, but the males in the intervention group reported a significant increase in school contentment (p < 0.05).
In a lower secondary school class served breakfast for 4 months, dietary intake changed to a more healthy profile and weight gain was reduced.
Breakfast consumption is associated with positive outcomes for diet quality, micronutrient intake, weight status and lifestyle factors. Breakfast has been suggested to positively affect learning in children in terms of behavior, cognitive, and school performance. However, these assertions are largely based on evidence which demonstrates acute effects of breakfast on cognitive performance. Less research which examines the effects of breakfast on the ecologically valid outcomes of academic performance or in-class behavior is available. The literature was searched for articles published between 1950–2013 indexed in Ovid MEDLINE, Pubmed, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE databases, and PsychINFO. Thirty-six articles examining the effects of breakfast on in-class behavior and academic performance in children and adolescents were included. The effects of breakfast in different populations were considered, including undernourished or well-nourished children and adolescents from differing socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds. The habitual and acute effects of breakfast and the effects of school breakfast programs (SBPs) were considered. The evidence indicated a mainly positive effect of breakfast on on-task behavior in the classroom. There was suggestive evidence that habitual breakfast (frequency and quality) and SBPs have a positive effect on children's academic performance with clearest effects on mathematic and arithmetic grades in undernourished children. Increased frequency of habitual breakfast was consistently positively associated with academic performance. Some evidence suggested that quality of habitual breakfast, in terms of providing a greater variety of food groups and adequate energy, was positively related to school performance. However, these associations can be attributed, in part, to confounders such as SES and to methodological weaknesses such as the subjective nature of the observations of behavior in class.
breakfast; behavior; academic performance; children; adolescents; learning
By sequential random numbering 10 schools in greater Winnipeg were selected for a nutrition survey. Interviews were conducted with 201 grade 3 children and 182 grade 6 children for whom parental consent was obtained. Of these, 48 in grade 3 and 51 in grade 6 were studied in further detail. There were no differences in descriptive data between the general and detailed groups or among the 10 schools. Most fathers were skilled or unskilled labourers and about 50% of the mothers were homemakers without outside employment; parental occupation did not influence eating patterns. Breakfast was the meal most often missed; 8% of the 383 children had come to school without breakfast. Since many children in grade 3 had prepared their own breakfast and since there was a relative lack of physical activity, school health programs should incorporate more than nutritional supplements and nutrition education. On the basis of body weight and height the nutritional status of the 99 children studied in detail was judged to be generally satisfactory; according to the Boston standards the boys were heavy and tall, and the girls were normal in weight but short.
OBJECTIVE: To report micronutrient intakes in Northern Ireland schoolchildren, and to establish the contribution of fortified breakfast cereal to overall nutrient intakes and achievement of current dietary recommendations. DESIGN: Analysis of dietary intakes and physical characteristics of participants in a randomly selected 2% population sample of 1015 schoolchildren aged 12 and 15 years in Northern Ireland during the 1990/1 school year. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Dietary intakes, physical characteristics, and their association with consumption of fortified breakfast cereal. RESULTS: Mean micronutrient intakes were generally adequate with the exception of low intakes of folate (boys and girls) and iron (girls). Fortified breakfast cereals, consumed by a high proportion (94% boys; 83% girls) of the sample, were associated with higher daily intakes of most micronutrients and fibre and with a macronutrient profile consistent with current nutritional recommendations. Appreciable proportions of subjects who did not consume fortified breakfast cereals had daily intakes that fell below the lower reference nutrient intake for riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B-12, and iron (girls). CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrate the potential of fortification in contributing to micronutrient intakes of schoolchildren, particularly where requirements are high, or for those on marginal diets of low nutritional quality.
Rural black, economically impoverished Head Start children, whose normal diets were deficient in nutritional requirements, were not consuming the nutritional breakfasts of, to them, unfamiliar foods provided by the county school system. This study investigated a positive simple method to increase the amount of food consumed and thereby ensure proper nutrition. Teachers dispensed sugar-coated cereal and small candies paired with praise contingent on eating behaviors and rewarded children who finished the entire meal with additional treats and praise. Substantial increases were produced in the proportion of meals consumed and in the number of children observed engaged in eating behaviors. These simple traditional behavioral procedures are readily available for any staff working with economically impoverished children as one method of increasing their sampling and consumption of unfamiliar nutritious foods.
Data from a dietary-reporting validation study with fourth-grade children were analyzed to investigate a possible relationship of body mass index (BMI) with daily participation in school meals and observed energy intake at school meals, and whether the relationships differed by breakfast location (classroom; cafeteria).
Data were collected in 17, 17, and 8 schools during three school years. For the three years, six, six, and seven of the schools had breakfast in the classroom; all other schools had breakfast in the cafeteria. Information about 180 days of school breakfast and school lunch participation during fourth grade for each of 1,571 children (90% Black; 53% girls) was available in electronic administrative records from the school district. Children were weighed and measured, and BMI was calculated. Each of a subset of 465 children (95% Black; 49% girls) was observed eating school breakfast and school lunch on the same day. Mixed-effects regression was conducted with BMI as the dependent variable and school as the random effect; independent variables were breakfast participation, lunch participation, combined participation (breakfast and lunch on the same day), average observed energy intake for breakfast, average observed energy intake for lunch, sex, age, breakfast location, and school year. Analyses were repeated for BMI category (underweight/healthy weight; overweight; obese; severely obese) using pooled ordered logistic regression models that excluded sex and age.
Breakfast participation, lunch participation, and combined participation were not significantly associated with BMI or BMI category irrespective of whether the model included observed energy intake at school meals. Observed energy intake at school meals was significantly and positively associated with BMI and BMI category. For the total sample and subset, breakfast location was significantly associated with BMI; average BMI was larger for children with breakfast in the classroom than in the cafeteria. Significantly more kilocalories were observed eaten at breakfast in the classroom than in the cafeteria.
For fourth-grade children, results provide evidence of a positive relationship between BMI and observed energy intake at school meals, and between BMI and school breakfast in the classroom; however, BMI and participation in school meals were not significantly associated.
Federal nutritional guidelines apply to school foods provided through the national school lunch and breakfast programs, but few federal regulations apply to other foods and drinks sold in schools (labeled "competitive foods"), which are often high in calories, fat and sugar. Competitive food policies among school districts are increasingly viewed as an important modifiable factor in the school nutrition environment, particularly to address rising rates of childhood overweight. Congress passed legislation in 2004 requiring all school districts to develop a Wellness Policy that includes nutrition guidelines for competitive foods starting in 2006–2007. In addition, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently published recommendations for schools to address childhood obesity.
Representatives of school districts with the largest student enrollment in each state and D.C. (N = 51) were interviewed in October-November 2004 about each school district's nutrition policies on "competitive foods." District policies were examined and compared to the Institute of Medicine's recommendations for schools to address childhood obesity. Information about state competitive food policies was accessed via the Internet, and through state and district contacts.
The 51 districts accounted for 5.9 million students, representing 11% of US students. Nineteen of the 51 districts (39%) had competitive food policies beyond state or federal requirements. The majority of these district policies (79%) were adopted since 2002. School district policies varied in scope and requirements. Ten districts (53%) set different standards by grade level. Most district policies had criteria for food and beverage content (74%) and prohibited the sale of soda in all schools (63%); fewer policies restricted portion size of foods (53%) or beverages (47%). Restrictions more often applied to vending machines (95%), cafeteria à la carte (79%), and student stores (79%) than fundraising activities (47%). Most of the policies did not address more comprehensive approaches to the school nutrition environment, such as nutrition education (32%) or advertising to students (26%), nor did they include guidelines on physical education (11%). In addition, few policies addressed monitoring (32%) or consequences for non-compliance (11%). No policy restricted foods sold for after-school fundraising or required monitoring physical health indicators (e.g. BMI).
When compared to the Institute of Medicine's recommendations for schools' role in preventing obesity, none of the nutrition policies among each state's largest school district had addressed all the recommendations by 2004–2005. Nutritionists, nurses, pediatricians, parents, and others concerned about child health have an unprecedented opportunity to help shape and implement more comprehensive school district nutrition policies as part of the Congressional requirement for a "Wellness Policy" by 2006–2007.
To determine the contribution of breakfast-eating behavior to dietary adequacy among low-income African-American children, 1151 children attending grades two through five at four elementary schools in East Orange, New Jersey were studied. Results of a 4-day eating behavior survey and a 24-hour dietary recall reveal that on any given day, 12% to 26% of children attend school without having eaten anything. Thirty-six percent of the children were obese, which did not vary with breakfast-eating behavior. A significantly greater proportion of the children who skipped breakfast compared to those who ate breakfast failed to achieve dietary adequacy for nearly every nutrient studied. More than one third of breakfast skippers consumed < 50% of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamins A, E, B6, and folacin, and nearly one fourth consumed < 50% of the recommended dietary allowance for calories, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Not eating breakfast results in substantial deficits in dietary intake of a variety of essential nutrients among low-income African-American school children. Efforts to improve the nutritional status of children should include nutrition education to promote breakfast.
Data were collected on the nutrient intake and nutritional status of 96 single mothers and their 192 dependent children who had been displaced from their homes. The objective of the study was to provide information on the dietary adequacy of a newly identified subgroup of homeless persons, single women and their dependent children. Once situated in temporary housing, those participating in the study indicated that they believed that they were receiving sufficient food. However, a nutrient analysis found that the study subjects in all age groups were consuming less than 50 percent of the 1989 Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for iron, magnesium, zinc, and folic acid. Adults were consuming less than 50 percent of the RDA for calcium. The type and amounts of fats consumed were in higher than desirable quantities for a significant number of subjects of all ages. The health risk factors of iron deficiency anemia, obesity, and hypercholesterolemia were prevalent. The findings indicate a need to examine and remedy nutrient intake deficiencies among single women who are heads of household and their dependent children in temporary housing situations. Diet-related conditions found included low nutrient intakes that may affect child growth and development, risk factors associated with chronic disease, and lack of appropriate foods and knowledge of food preparation methods in shelter situations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The HEALTHY primary prevention trial developed an integrated multi-component intervention program to moderate risk factors for type 2 diabetes in middle schools. The nutrition component aimed to improve the quality of foods and beverages served to students. Changes in the School Breakfast Program (SBP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and a la carte venues are compared to the experience of control schools.
The intervention was implemented in 21 middle schools from winter 2007 through spring 2009 (following a cohort of students from sixth through eighth grades); 21 schools acted as observed controls. The nutrition component targeted school food service environmental change. Data identifying foods and nutrients served (selected by students for consumption) were collected over a 20-day period at baseline and end of study. Analysis compared end of study values for intervention versus control schools.
Intervention schools more successfully limited dessert and snack food portion size in NSLP and a la carte and lowered fat content of foods served. Servings of high fiber grain-based foods and/or legumes were improved in SBP but not NSLP. Intervention and control schools eliminated >1% fat milk and sugar added beverages in SBP, but intervention schools were more successful in NSLP and a la carte.
The HEALTHY program demonstrated significant changes in the nutritional quality of foods and beverages served in the SBP, NSLP, and a la carte venues, as part of an effort to decrease childhood obesity and support beneficial effects in some secondary HEALTHY study outcomes.
School Food Services; Nutrition and Diet; Child and Adolescent Health
Federal policy has encouraged researchers to include children in research studies; thus, it is important to report experiences recruiting children to participate in studies. This article compares fourth-graders' participation rates across four school-based nutrition studies conducted in one school district in a southeastern state. For each study, children were observed eating school meals (breakfast and lunch); interviewed regarding dietary intake; and weighed and measured. For Study 1, children from 11 schools received $10 per interview for up to two interviews conducted in the morning at school. For Study 2, children from 10 schools received $25 if interviewed once in the evening, either by telephone or in a van parked outside the child's home. For Study 3, children from three schools received $10 per interview for up to three interviews held in the evening by telephone. For Study 4, children from six schools received $15 per interview for up to two interviews conducted either in the morning or afternoon at school, or in the evening by telephone. Recruitment procedures were similar for all studies.
Participation rates were 73% (n=635) for Study 1, 57% (n=432) for Study 2, 66% (n=158) for Study 3, and 71% (n=296) for Study 4. Logistic regression was used to determine whether study (1, 2, 3, 4), race (black, white), or gender (male, female) were significant predictors of participation (agreed, denied). The results indicated that study (p<0.0001), race (p=0.0198), and gender (p=0.0188) were significant predictors, however, no two-factor interactions among these effects were significant. Post hoc pairwise comparisons with Bonferroni adjustment indicated that agreement to participate for Study 2 was lower (p<0.0001) than that for Studies 1, 3, and 4, which did not differ. Agreement to participate across all four studies was higher for black (69%) than white (63%; p=0.0054) children and for females (69%) than males (64%; p=0.0209). Schools provide a natural environment for nutrition research because school foodservice programs feed millions of children one or two meals (breakfast and/or lunch) each school day. Observations of children eating school meals provide a convenient and relatively unobtrusive means of validating children's dietary recalls. Thus, at some point, most child nutrition professionals are likely to be involved in research either directly (i.e. by conducting studies themselves) or indirectly (i.e. by allowing others access to their school cafeterias to collect data).
This paper references the following data: Table 1. Similarities and Differences in the Designs for Each of the Four Studies. Table 2. Number and Percent of Fourth-Grade Children Who Agreed or Denied to Participate by Race and Gender Across all Four Studies Combined. Table 3. Number and Percent of Fourth-Grade Children Who Agreed or Denied to Participate by Gender and Race for Each of the Four Studies Separately.
Krachtvoer is a Dutch healthy diet programme for prevocational schools, developed in 2001 and revised for a broader target group in 2007, based on the findings of an evaluation of the first version. The goal of this study was to report on the short- and longer-term total and subgroup effects of the revised programme on students’ fruit, fruit juice, breakfast, and snack consumption.
Schools were randomized to the experimental condition, teaching the Krachtvoer programme, or to the control condition teaching the regular nutrition lessons. Self-reported consumption of fruit, fruit juice, breakfast and snacks was measured at baseline directly before programme implementation, one to four weeks after finishing programme implementation, and after six months. Mixed linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted.
In total 1117 students of 13 experimental schools and 758 students of 11 control schools participated in the study. Short- and longer-term favourable intervention effects were found on fruit consumption (mean difference between experimental and control group 0.15 servings at both posttests). Regarding fruit juice consumption, only short-term favourable effects were revealed (mean difference between experimental and control group 0.05 glasses). Intervention effects on breakfast intakes were limited. No changes in snack frequency were reported, but students made healthier snack choices as a result of the programme. Some favourable as well as unfavourable effects occurred in subgroups of students.
The effects on fruit consumption and snack choices justify the current nationwide dissemination of the programme. Achieving changes in breakfast consumption may, however, require other strategies.
School programme; Nutrition; Dietary effects
To investigate breakfast eating habits on daily energy and fish, vegetable, and fruit intake in Japanese adolescents.
This study was completed as part of the Shunan Child Health Cohort Study. Two types of questionnaires, one on lifestyle habits and the other a brief-type, self-administered questionnaire on diet history, were administered to second-year junior high school students (1,876 boys and 1,759 girls) in Shunan City, Yamaguchi, Japan. The different breakfast habits were compared using the general linear model and the estimated means and P value for trend were calculated, with energy-adjusted food intake as the dependent variable and body mass index, gender, age, residential areas, and living status as covariates.
In both males and females, the proportion of those who ate breakfast irregularly was about 10%. The daily intake of fish, vegetables, and fruit was significantly higher in those who ate breakfast with their guardians than in those who ate breakfast alone (P for trend <0.01). The daily intake of fish, seafood, and vegetables was significantly higher in those who less frequently ate cooked foods for breakfast (P for trend <0.01). Those who ate rice more frequently than bread at breakfast had a higher daily intake of fish, seafood, and vegetables (P for trend <0.01).
Eating breakfast with the family, reducing the intake of cooked foods at breakfast, and eating breakfast with rice as a main staple food are suggested to contribute to an improved quality of diet in adolescents.
Breakfast styles; Daily energy/food intake; Japanese adolescents; Cross-sectional study; Dietary education
For school breakfast each day, many elementary schools offer a choice between a cold option that includes ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal and a hot option that includes a non-RTE-cereal entrée such as waffles. For breakfast reports, intrusions (reports of uneaten items) in correctly reported and misreported breakfast options were examined using data from five dietary-reporting validation studies. In each study, fourth-grade children were observed eating school breakfast and school lunch and then interviewed to obtain a dietary recall. A breakfast option was correctly reported in 240 breakfast reports for 203 intrusions total, and misreported in 97 breakfast reports for 189 intrusions total. Asymmetry was evident in misreported options; specifically, children observed eating a cold option almost never misreported a hot option, but children observed eating a hot option often misreported a cold option. Proportionately more breakfast reports were intrusion-free when a breakfast option was correctly reported than misreported. Linking of intrusions (i.e., multiple intrusions from the same option in a breakfast report) was especially evident with misreported breakfast options. Methodological aspects of dietary recalls such as target period (prior 24 hours; previous day), interview time (morning; afternoon; evening), and interview format (meal; open) had implications for intrusions and misreported breakfast options.
Children; Dietary recalls; Intrusions; School breakfast; Ready-to-eat cereal; Validation; Meal observations; Accuracy
This paper evaluates impacts of Oportunidades, a Mexican conditional cash transfer program, on educational outcomes 5.5 years after program initiation for a group of children who were age 0 to 8 years pre-program. The oldest children within this age range received educational scholarships. The youngest children did not receive the scholarships because they had not yet started the third grade of school (the initial grade for scholarships), but were beneficiaries of the program’s health components that included nutritional supplements for children 24 months of age or younger. All of these children also may have benefitted more generally from increased household income resulting from the program. This paper investigates how the program differentially affected younger and older children within this age range and examines whether the early nutritional intervention led to improvements in subsequent educational performance. The program impact estimates are derived from a randomly assigned treatment and control group, which participated for different lengths of time in the program, and from a matched comparison group that had not participated prior to the collection of data in 2003. The empirical findings show positive program impacts on reducing ages at entering school for the younger children as well as on accumulated grades of schooling after 5.5 years of benefits for older children, with estimates implying a 1 percent reduction in the age of entry to primary and an increase in grades of schooling completed to date of about 8 to 9 percent.
To assess the adequacy of periconceptional intake of key micronutrients for perinatal health in relation to regular cereal consumption of pregnant women.
Design, setting, and subjects
Low-income pregnant women (n=596) in Pittsburgh, PA who enrolled in a cohort study <20 weeks gestation. These women reported usual dietary intake in the three months around conception on a food frequency questionnaire. Cereal consumers were women who reported consuming any dry cereal at least three times per week. High risk for nutrient inadequacy was defined as intake less than the Estimated Average Requirement.
About 31% of the women regularly consumed cereal. After adjusting for energy intake, race/ethnicity, marital status, breakfast consumption, and supplement use, cereal eaters had significantly higher intakes of folate, iron, zinc, calcium, fiber, and vitamins A, C, D, and E (all P<0.01) and were approximately 2 to 6 times as likely to have intakes in the highest third of the distribution for folate, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamins A and D, and fiber (all P<0.01) than non-cereal eaters. Cereal consumption was also associated with 65% to 90% reductions in risk of nutrient inadequacies compared with non-consumption (all P<0.01).
Encouraging cereal consumption may be a simple, safe, and inexpensive nutrition intervention that could optimize periconceptional intake for successful placental and fetal development.
cereal; diet; periconception; pregnancy
Validation-study data were analyzed to investigate the effect of retention interval (time between the to-be-reported meal and interview) on accuracy of children's school-breakfast reports and school-lunch reports in 24-hour recalls, and to compare accuracy of children's school-breakfast reports for two breakfast locations (classroom; cafeteria).
Each of 374 fourth-grade children was interviewed to obtain a 24-hour recall using one of six conditions from crossing two target periods (prior 24 hours; previous day) with three interview times (morning; afternoon; evening). Each condition had 62 or 64 children (half boys). A recall's target period included one school breakfast and one school lunch, for which the child had been observed. Food-item variables (observed number; reported number; omission rate; intrusion rate) and energy variables (observed; reported; report rate; correspondence rate; inflation ratio) were calculated for each child for school breakfast and school lunch separately.
Accuracy for school-breakfast reports and school-lunch reports was inversely related to retention interval. Specifically, as indicated by smaller omission rates, smaller intrusion rates, larger correspondence rates, and smaller inflation ratios, accuracy for school-breakfast reports was best for prior-24-hour recalls in the morning, and accuracy for school-lunch reports was best for prior-24-hour recalls in the afternoon. For neither school meal was a significant sex effect found for any variable. For school-breakfast reports, there was no significant school-breakfast location effect for any variable.
By shortening the retention interval, accuracy can be improved for school-breakfast reports and school-lunch reports in children's 24-hour recalls.
validation study; school meals; retention interval
Immigrant children face an increased risk of being overweight. Little is known about how immigrant families perceive school programs that may help prevent obesity, such as walking to school and school breakfast.
Six focus groups (n = 53) were conducted with immigrant parents of school-aged children, two each in three languages: Vietnamese, Spanish, and Somali. A facilitator and translator conducted the focus groups using a script and question guide. Written notes and audio transcripts were recorded in each group. Transcripts were coded for themes by two researchers and findings classified according to an ecological model.
Participants in each ethnic group held positive beliefs about the benefits of walking and eating breakfast. Barriers to walking to school included fear of children's safety due to stranger abductions, distrust of neighbors, and traffic, and feasibility barriers due to distance to schools, parent work constraints, and large families with multiple children. Barriers to school breakfast participation included concerns children would not eat due to lack of appealing/appropriate foods and missing breakfast due to late bus arrival or lack of reminders. Although some parents acknowledged concerns about child and adult obesity overall, obesity concerns did not seem personally relevant.
Immigrant parents supported the ideals of walking to school and eating breakfast, but identified barriers to participation in school programs across domains of the ecological model, including community, institution, and built environment factors. Schools and communities serving immigrant families may need to address these barriers in order to engage parents and children in walking and breakfast programs.
Objective To determine the accuracy and consistency of fourth-graders' school breakfast and school lunch recalls obtained during 24-hour recalls and compared with observed intake.
Design Children were interviewed using a multiple-pass protocol at school the morning after being observed eating school breakfast and school lunch.
Subjects 104 children stratified by ethnicity (African-American, white) and gender were randomly selected and interviewed up to 3 times each with 4 to 14 weeks between each interview.
Statistical analysis Match, omission, and intrusion rates to determine accuracy of reporting items; arithmetic and/or absolute differences to determine accuracy for reporting amounts; total inaccuracy to determine inaccuracy for reporting items and amounts combined; intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) to determine consistency.
Results Means were 51% for omission rate, 39% for intrusion rate, and 7.1 servings for total inaccuracy. Total inaccuracy decreased significantly from the first to the third recall (P=0.006). The ICC was 0.29 for total inaccuracy and 0.15 for omission rate. For all meal components except bread/grain and beverage, there were more omissions than intrusions. Mean arithmetic and absolute differences per serving in amount reported for matches were -0.08 and 0.24, respectively. Mean amounts per serving of omissions and intrusions were 0.86 and 0.80, respectively.
Applications/conclusions The low accuracy and low consistency of children's recalls from this study raise concerns regarding the current uses of dietary recalls obtained from children. To improve the accuracy and consistency of children's dietary recalls, validation studies are needed to determine the best way(s) to interview children.
Free school breakfast programmes (SBPs) exist in a number of high-income countries, but their effects on educational outcomes have rarely been evaluated in randomised controlled trials.
A 1-year stepped-wedge, cluster randomised controlled trial was undertaken in 14 New Zealand schools in low socioeconomic resource areas. Participants were 424 children, mean age 9±2 years, 53% female. The intervention was a free daily SBP. The primary outcome was children's school attendance. Secondary outcomes were academic achievement, self-reported grades, sense of belonging at school, behaviour, short-term hunger, breakfast habits and food security.
There was no statistically significant effect of the breakfast programme on children's school attendance. The odds of children achieving an attendance rate <95% was 0.76 (95% CI 0.56 to 1.02) during the intervention phase and 0.93 (95% CI 0.67 to 1.31) during the control phase, giving an OR of 0.81 (95% CI 0.59 to 1.11), p=0.19. There was a significant decrease in children's self-reported short-term hunger during the intervention phase compared with the control phase, demonstrated by an increase of 8.6 units on the Freddy satiety scale (95% CI 3.4 to 13.7, p=0.001). There were no effects of the intervention on any other outcome.
A free SBP did not have a significant effect on children's school attendance or academic achievement but had significant positive effects on children's short-term satiety ratings. More frequent programme attendance may be required to influence school attendance and academic achievement.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR)—ACTRN12609000854235.
Breakfast; intervention; randomised controlled trial; schools; education; child health; diet; public health; randomised trials; exercise
Previous studies have shown that fasting increases lead absorption in the gastrointestinal tract of adults. Regular meals/snacks are recommended as a nutritional intervention for lead poisoning in children, but epidemiological evidence of links between fasting and blood lead levels (B-Pb) is rare. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between eating a regular breakfast and B-Pb among children using data from the China Jintan Child Cohort Study.
Parents completed a questionnaire regarding children's breakfast-eating habit (regular or not), demographics, and food frequency. Whole blood samples were collected from 1,344 children for the measurements of B-Pb and micronutrients (iron, copper, zinc, calcium, and magnesium). B-Pb and other measures were compared between children with and without regular breakfast. Linear regression modeling was used to evaluate the association between regular breakfast and log-transformed B-Pb. The association between regular breakfast and risk of lead poisoning (B-Pb≥10 μg/dL) was examined using logistic regression modeling.
Median B-Pb among children who ate breakfast regularly and those who did not eat breakfast regularly were 6.1 μg/dL and 7.2 μg/dL, respectively. Eating breakfast was also associated with greater zinc blood levels. Adjusting for other relevant factors, the linear regression model revealed that eating breakfast regularly was significantly associated with lower B-Pb (beta = -0.10 units of log-transformed B-Pb compared with children who did not eat breakfast regularly, p = 0.02).
The present study provides some initial human data supporting the notion that eating a regular breakfast might reduce B-Pb in young children. To our knowledge, this is the first human study exploring the association between breakfast frequency and B-Pb in young children.
lead exposure lead poisoning nutrition diet nutrients breakfast
There are very few studies on the frequency of breakfast and snack consumption and its relation to fruit and vegetable intake. This study aims to fill that gap by exploring the relation between irregular breakfast habits and snack consumption and fruit and vegetable intake in Tuscan adolescents. Separate analyses were conducted with an emphasis on the potentially modifying factors of sex and age.
Data was obtained from the 2010 Tuscan sample of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. The HBSC study is a cross-sectional survey of 11-, 13- and 15-year-old students (n = 3291), selected from a random sample of schools. Multivariate logistic regression was used for analyzing the food-frequency questionnaire.
A significant relation was found between low fruit and vegetable intake and irregular breakfast habits. Similarly, low fruit intake was associated with irregular snack consumption, whereas vegetable intake did not prove to be directly related to irregular snack consumption. Different patterns emerged when gender and age were considered as modifying factors in the analyses. A statistically significant relation emerged only among female students for irregular breakfast habits and fruit and vegetable intake. Generally, older female participants with irregular breakfast habits demonstrated a higher risk of low fruit and vegetable intake. Age pattern varied between genders, and between fruit and vegetable consumption.
Results suggest that for those adolescents who have an irregular consumption of breakfast and snacks, fruit intake occurs with a lower frequency. Lower vegetable consumption was associated with irregular breakfast consumption. Gender and age were shown to be moderators and this indicated the importance of analyzing fruit and vegetable intake and meal types separately.
This study also confirmed that health-promotion campaigns that aim to promote regular meal consumption and consumption of fruits and vegetables need to take into account gender and age differences in designing promotional strategies. Future research should identify evidence-based interventions to facilitate the achievement of the Italian guidelines for a healthy diet for fruit, vegetables and meals intake.
The HEALTHY study was a randomized, controlled, multicenter and middle school-based, multifaceted intervention designed to reduce risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes. The study randomized 42 middle schools to intervention or control, and followed students from the sixth to the eighth grades. Here we describe the design of the HEALTHY nutrition intervention component that was developed to modify the total school food environment, defined to include the following: federal breakfast, lunch, after school snack and supper programs; a la carte venues, including snack bars and school stores; vending machines; fundraisers; and classroom parties and celebrations. Study staff implemented the intervention using core and toolbox strategies to achieve and maintain the following five intervention goals: (1) lower the average fat content of foods, (2) increase the availability and variety of fruits and vegetables, (3) limit the portion sizes and energy content of dessert and snack foods, (4) eliminate whole and 2% milk and all added sugar beverages, with the exception of low fat or nonfat flavored milk, and limit 100% fruit juice to breakfast in small portions and (5) increase the availability of higher fiber grain-based foods and legumes. Other nutrition intervention component elements were taste tests, cafeteria enhancements, cafeteria line messages and other messages about healthy eating, cafeteria learning laboratory (CLL) activities, twice-yearly training of food service staff, weekly meetings with food service managers, incentives for food service departments, and twice yearly local meetings and three national summits with district food service directors. Strengths of the intervention design were the integration of nutrition with the other HEALTHY intervention components (physical education, behavior change and communications), and the collaboration and rapport between the nutrition intervention study staff members and food service personnel at both school and district levels.
childhood obesity; diabetes prevention; food service; middle school intervention; nutrition; school food environment
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has stated that the best nutritional strategy for promoting optimal health and reducing the risk of chronic disease is to wisely choose a wide variety of foods. Seventy diets were computer analyzed from the menu of athletes or sedentary subjects seeking to improve the quality of micronutrient intake from food choices. All of these dietary analyses fell short of the recommended 100% RDA micronutrient level from food alone. Therefore, based on diets analyzed for adequacy or inadequacy of macronutrients and micronutrients, a challenging question is proposed: "Does food selection alone provide 100% of the former RDA or newer RDI micronutrient recommended daily requirement?"
nutrition; RDA; RDI; micronutrients