Objective: To study the relationship of breakfast to the attention -concentration, immediate recall memory, nutritional status and academic achievement of school children.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Two schools catering to middle class families in Hyderabad city.
Methods: 379 urban 11 to 13 years old school children studying in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Data collected in a single way blind procedure using Letter Cancellation test, immediate memory from the PGI Memory Scale, school marks of the previous year and nutritional status.
Results: Comparison between groups indicated significant differences in the letter cancellation (LC) total scores with the regular breakfast group achieving the highest mean scores compared to the no breakfast group (P< 0.05). Marks scored by the regular breakfast group in subjects - Science, English and total Percentage were significantly higher compared to those scored by the children in the no breakfast group. Regular breakfast eating habit and weight for age percent were significantly (P< 0.001) associated with immediate recall memory score explaining 4.3 percent variation.
Conclusions: Regular habit of eating breakfast as opposed to irregular consumption or skipping breakfast altogether had beneficial influence on attention-concentration, memory and school achievement.