Breakfast consumption and student achievement prior to lunch

Ann Waggoner, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between eating breakfast and the student's grade point average. Breakfast ends the nighttime fast, providing glucose, which is the brain's main energy source. Glucose is needed by the brain for sustained mental work and by the muscles for daily physical activity. Studies show that elementary students who eat breakfast have better concentration, score higher on tests, have better attendance, and have better muscle coordination. The choice of certain nutrients plays a part also. Studies show a decline in breakfast consumption among adolescents. A researcher-developed questionnaire was used to collect data from a random sample of students from a small high school. The students completed a breakfast questionnaire describing their breakfast habits and food intake. Grade point averages were accessed from the guidance office. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was use to compare the data with the grade point average. Three hundred seventy-eight of 1080 students returned the questionnaire. Fifty-five questionnaires were discarded because of a lack of parental signatures. A p value of .05 was used to establish significance. The null hypothesis stated that there is no significant difference in the grade point average of those who eat breakfast and those who do not eat breakfast. The null hypothesis was rejected. Variables showing significance were age, gender, grade classification, enrollment in a foods and nutrition class, eating the school breakfast, and eating the school lunch. It was recommended that a study involving several high schools with varying student enrollments and locations be conducted to further identify the link between breakfast consumption and academic achievement.

Subject Area

Nutrition|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Ann Waggoner, "Breakfast consumption and student achievement prior to lunch" (2001). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3024637.