Background: Although many studies have investigated the relation between breakfast consumption and various domains of cognitive functioning within children, some of the reported findings are inconsistent.
Objective: We sought to determine the short-term effects of a breakfast meal on the neuropsychological functioning of healthy school-aged children after an overnight fast.
Design: The study was conducted in a clinical research center with the use of a counterbalanced repeated-measures design among children who either consumed breakfast or were fasting. The administered neuropsychological tests included measures of attention, impulsivity, short-term memory, cognitive processing speed, and verbal learning. The sample consisted of children aged 8-10 y (n = 128), of whom 52% were female, 38% were African American, 31% were Hispanic, 28% were white, and 3% were of another race/ethnicity.
Results: There were no significant (P ≥ 0.004) differences between breakfast meal consumption and fasting for any of the neuropsychological measures administered.
Conclusion: Breakfast consumption had no short-term effect on neuropsychological functioning in healthy school-aged children. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01943604.
Keywords: breakfast consumption; breakfast skipping; children; cognition; neuropsychological functioning.
© 2016 American Society for Nutrition.