Background - Although frequency of breakfast consumption has previously been related to BMI and school performance, these relationships have not been investigated in prevocational secondary education students, among whom breakfast skipping and overweight are most prevalent. Aim - The first aim of this study was therefore to expand previous work, by investigating the relationship between frequency of breakfast consumption and school performance, the relationship between frequency of breakfast consumption and BMI and the relationship between BMI and school performance in prevocational secondary education students. The second aim was to investigated whether frequency of breakfast consumption mediates the relationship between BMI and school performance. Participants, procedure, design – To be included students had to be in the theoretical learning pathway from the first grade until their present grade without skipping or repeating grades. In addition they had to take mathematic class. With these selection criteria a total of 249 students received an information letter and informed consent form and their classes were visited by the researcher. The final sample consisted of 65 participants, 41.5% boys and 58.5% girls, aged 12 to 17 years (M = 14.03, SD = 1.46). Among them a cross-sectional, correlational design was conducted. Measures - Data on age, sex, bodyweight and height and frequency of breakfast consumption was obtained from a student questionnaire, data on level of parental education was obtained from parents/caregivers by a short questionnaire (De Bie, 1987). School performance was operationalised as school grades, standardized to z-scores per grade. Multiple regression and mediation analysis were conducted . Results - LPE was low-medium in 47.7% and high in 52.3% of the participants. Participants had a mean breakfast frequency of 5.09 (SD = 2.31) days per week and a BMI of 21 (SD = 3.11). No significant correlations between frequency of breakfast consumption and standardized school grades (r = .19, p = .13) and frequency of breakfast consumption and BMI (r = -.17, p = .19) were found. The relationship between BMI and school performance was found to be nearly nil r = .02, p = .90. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis with LPE, age and sex as background variables showed similar results. Because no significant relation between BMI and school performance was found the mediation analysis added no valuable information. When frequency of breakfast consumption was exploratively dichotomized a significant relation between this variable and BMI was found (r = -.39, p < .01). Conclusion – Although the relationships between frequency of breakfast consumption and school performance and between frequency of breakfast consumption and BMI were not significant our results indicated that these relationships might exist in a larger sample. The main limitation of this study is the small number of participants. It is therefore recommended to investigate the relationship between frequency of breakfast consumption, school performance and BMI among prevocational education students in the Netherlands on a larger scale.
- breakfast consumption
- school performance
- prevocational secondary education