How does school breakfast affect children's health?



Studies show that the School Breakfast Program can help prevent childhood obesity and other health problems. Researchers present their findings on the positive impact of the School Breakfast Program on students' health and weight. Watch this video to hear about some of the latest research on the effect of school breakfast on child health.

Want to boost school breakfast in your community? Visit our Breakfast Resource page for free tools and guidance.

This video features the following experts:

  • Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.  Associate Professor of Medicine.  Stanford University.

  • Dr. Michael Goran.  Director, Childhood Obesity Research Center.  University of Southern California.

  • Dr. Ronette Briefel.  Senior Fellow.  Mathematica Policy Research

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Articles referenced in this video include:

1. Alexander KE, Ventura EE, Spruijt-Metz D, Weigensberg MJ, Goran MI, Davis JN. Association of Breakfast Skipping With Visceral Fat and Insulin Indices in Overweight Latino Youth. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2009;17(8):1528-1533.

2. Bhattacharya J, Currie J, Haider SJ. Breakfast of Champions? The School Breakfast Program and the Nutrition of Children and Families. J Hum Resour. 2006;41(3):445-466.

3. Corder K, van Sluijs EM, Ridgway CL, et al. Breakfast consumption and physical activity in adolescents: daily associations and hourly patterns. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;99(2):361-368.

4. Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). Breakfast for Health. Fall 2011. Accessed February 11, 2014.

5. Gleason P, Briefel R, Wilson A, Dodd A, Mathematica Policy Research Inc. School meal program participation and its association with dietary patterns and childhood obesity. Final Report. Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture; July 2009. Accessed February 11, 2014.

6. Gleason PM, Dodd AH. School breakfast program but not school lunch program participation is associated with lower body mass index. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(2 Suppl):S118-128.

7. Merten MJ, Williams AL, Shriver LH. Breakfast consumption in adolescence and young adulthood: parental presence, community context, and obesity. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(8):1384-1391.

8. Niemeier HM, Raynor HA, Lloyd-Richardson EE, Rogers ML, Wing RR. Fast Food Consumption and Breakfast Skipping: Predictors of Weight Gain from Adolescence to Adulthood in a Nationally Representative Sample. J Adolesc Health. 2006;39(6):842-849.

9. Pereira MA, Erickson E, McKee P, et al. Breakfast frequency and quality may affect glycemia and appetite in adults and children. J Nutr. 2011;141(1):163-168.

10. Schembre SM, Wen CK, Davis JN, et al. Eating breakfast more frequently is cross-sectionally associated with greater physical activity and lower levels of adiposity in overweight Latina and African American girls. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;98(2):275-281.

11. Timlin MT, Pereira MA, Story M, Neumark-Sztainer D. Breakfast eating and weight change in a 5-year prospective analysis of adolescents: Project EAT (Eating Among Teens). Pediatrics. 2008;121(3):e638-645.