As it turns out, mom was right when she said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day.
According to the “Ending Childhood Hunger: A Social Impact Analysis” study, kids who eat school breakfasts miss fewer days of schools, do better in math and are more likely to graduate high school.
“This report demonstrates that investing in our children and economic prosperity go hand-in-hand and merit bipartisan support,” Billy Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength, said in a news release. “The seemingly simple act of ensuring that children get school breakfast offers the potential for students to experience greater academic achievement, increased job readiness and ultimately more economic prosperity for our nation. Stronger, better nourished kids mean a stronger America.”
In particular, students who eat school breakfast
- Score 17.5 percent higher on standardized math tests
- Attend 1.5 more days of schools
- Are 20 percent more likely to graduate from high school
The importance of breakfast was also highlighted this week by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack as he helped kick off National School Breakfast Week.
"Making sure that children get the best start to their day is part of our commitment to providing all of our children access to safe, nutritious, and well-balanced meals," Vilsack said in a new release. "Eating breakfast helps maintain a healthy weight and gives our youngest generation the greatest chance at success."
As one of the most popular breakfast drinks, milk also plays a vital role in keeping students fit.
In 2009, a study found that teens who consumed the recommended daily serving of dairy had lower body mass index and less body fat than those who ate fewer servings. A study in 2012 found similar results in milk-drinking teenage girls. Another study in 2011 found that milk and other sources of vitamin D play an important role in children’s diet after a study links allergy risk to low intake of the vitamin.
“About half the students in the county live around the poverty level. For many, school lunch and breakfast are the main meals of the day,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta said in an interview with CNN, available here. “Without milk, local doctors said, kids weren't getting enough vitamin D, vitamin A, calcium, or potassium.”