The Relation Between Breakfast Skipping and School Performance in Adolescents

Annemarie Boschloo, Carolijn Ouwehand, Sanne Dekker, Nikki Lee, Renate De Groot, Lydia Krabbendam, Jelle Jolles

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Breakfast skipping is common in adolescents, but research on the effects of breakfast skipping on school performance is scarce. This current cross-sectional survey study of 605 adolescents aged 11-18 years investigated whether adolescents who habitually skip breakfast have lower end of term grades than adolescents who eat breakfast daily. Additionally, the roles of sleep behavior, namely chronotype, and attention were explored. Results showed that breakfast skippers performed lower at school than breakfast eaters. The findings were similar for younger and older adolescents, and for boys and girls. Adolescents with an evening chronotype were more likely to skip breakfast, but chronotype was unrelated to school performance. Furthermore, attention problems partially mediated the relation between breakfast skipping and school performance. This large-scale study emphasizes the importance of breakfast as a determinant for school performance. The results give reason to investigate the mechanisms underlying the relation between skipping breakfast, attention and school performance in more detail.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-88
    Number of pages8
    JournalMind, Brain, and Education
    Issue number2
    Early online date24 May 2012
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


    • breakfast
    • school performance
    • adolescents
    • attention
    • chronotype


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