Recent Survey of Canadian High School Students Reveals Eating Breakfast Has a Big Impact on Academic Success
For the one in five Canadian students who go to school without breakfast because there is no food for them to eat,i classroom success and the prospect of graduating can seem a long way off.
In fact, the recent Kellogg's Breakfast for Better Days #FeedingBetterDays Survey ("The Kellogg's Survey") , which polled current high school students, found that 32 per cent have been distracted by hunger during an important test or exam. And an astonishing 79 per cent say they are tired or have less energy, are less focused or feel nauseous when they don't eat breakfast in the morning.ii
The impact of missing breakfast on student success is tangible, and with poor academic performance cited as a leading reason teens drop out, the need for a solution is immediate. Across Canada, one in five students admits to having considered dropping out.ii
"Now is crunch time for high school students," says Deana Helton, principal at Bishop McNally High School in Calgary. "This is the final stretch before graduation, and we know that generally, students who eat breakfast feel less stressed, perform better on exams and are more likely to graduate. When eating breakfast plays such a pivotal role in the success of our young people, it becomes an issue that we, as a society, cannot ignore."
The findings of the Kellogg's Survey are supported by additional research. A report by the Toronto District School Board has even shown that high school students who eat breakfast on most days are nearly 20 per cent more likely to graduate than those who regularly miss breakfast.iii Another study found that eating breakfast can reduce anxiety in stressful situations (i.e. exams) by 89 per cent and 61 per cent of youth show an improvement in English and Math test results following breakfast.iv
Not eating breakfast also deeply affects high school students outside of the classroom – both physically and emotionally. Many report feeling stressed or anxious when they don't eat breakfast, and nearly one in five say they are stressed or quick to anger when they don't eat breakfast before school.ii When you consider that 60 per cent of all learning happens before lunch,v these figures take on even greater relevance.
BREAKFAST LEADS TO BETTER DAYS
Kellogg Canada, through its Breakfasts for Better Days initiative, is helping to make a difference, with a donation of $100,000 to Breakfast Club of Canada to fund new high school breakfast clubs, support existing high school clubs and help teens from coast-to-coast achieve their full potential.
This donation is in addition to the more than $3 million dollars and 27 million servings of cereal and snacks Kellogg Canada has provided to breakfast clubs and food banks over the past 10 years. Through Kellogg Canada's partnership with Breakfast Club of Canada, the company has helped feed more than 167,000 kids in almost 1,500 breakfast clubs across the country.
"Far too many children and youth in Canada struggle with hunger," adds Lores Tomé, Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Kellogg Canada Inc. "At Kellogg, we know the power breakfast can have on your day and we want to do our part to help students achieve their potential. That's why, through our global signature cause, Breakfasts for Better Days, we are proud to build on our support for breakfast programs across the country and the thousands of students who depend upon them every morning."
"Often, we think of the educational impact of hunger on young children," says Helton. "But these issues don't go away just because the kids are in high school. In fact, they are compounded by increased academic and social pressures, and what success or failure means long-term – graduating or not, moving on to university or not. The consequences are very real."
Breakfast clubs have proven to be a valuable resource to students. The Kellogg's Survey confirmed that more than one-third of high school students with a breakfast club in their school use it at least once every couple of weeks. Sadly, almost three-quarters of high school students surveyed said they either don't have a breakfast club in their school or they don't know if there is one in their school. Yet, one out of five of these students say they would make use of a breakfast club, if it was available.
Join the conversation to help students achieve their potential by sharing the #FeedingBetterDays infographic, and learn more about the power of breakfast and Kellogg's Breakfasts for Better Days initiative by visiting www.kelloggs.ca.
ABOUT THE 2016 KELLOGG'S BREAKFASTS FOR BETTER DAYS STUDY
From January 22 to January 26, 2016, an online survey was conducted among 500 randomly selected Canadian high school students who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
Let's Do This – Let's End Child Poverty for Good: Campaign 2000 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada. Campaign 2000. Toronto, Canada. 2015 *http://www.campaign2000.ca/reportCards/2015RepCards/NationalReportCardEn2015.pdf
The 2016 Kellogg's Breakfasts for Better Days #Feeding Better Days Survey. Angus Reid Forum. 2016
Feeding the Future. Toronto District School Board; March 2012 http://www.tdsb.on.ca/Portals/0/Elementary/docs/SupportingYou/EvaluationFOFProgram19Mar12.pdf
Cognitive Effect of Missing Breakfast Study; Mindlab Laboratory, Sussex Innovation Centre, Brighton. 2012
Breakfast Clubs Canada website: http://www.breakfastclubcanada.org/our-needs/
SOURCE Kellogg Canada Inc.
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