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Am J Public Health. 2013 Oct;103(10):e59-64. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301470. Epub 2013 Aug 15.

Evaluation of the New York City breakfast in the classroom program.

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  • 1Gretchen Van Wye, Hannah Seoh, Tamar Adjoian, and Deborah Dowell are with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Long Island City, NY.



We determined the impact of Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) on the percentage of children going without morning food, number of locations where food was consumed, and estimated calories consumed per child.


We used a cross-sectional survey of morning food consumed among elementary school students offered BIC and not offered BIC in geographically matched high-poverty-neighborhood elementary schools.


Students offered BIC (n = 1044) were less likely to report not eating in the morning (8.7%) than were students not offered BIC (n = 1245; 15.0%) and were more likely to report eating in 2 or more locations during the morning (51.1% vs 30%). Overall, students offered BIC reported consuming an estimated 95 more calories per morning than did students not offered BIC.


For every student for whom BIC resolved the problem of starting school with nothing to eat, more than 3 students ate in more than 1 location. Offering BIC reduced the percentage of students not eating in the morning but may contribute to excess calorie intake. More evaluation of BIC's impact on overweight and obesity is needed before more widespread implementation.

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