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Physiol Behav. 2011 Jul 6;103(5):431-9. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.03.018. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Breakfast consumption and cognitive function in adolescent schoolchildren.

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Institute of Youth Sport, School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK.


This study examined the effects of breakfast consumption on cognitive function, mood and blood glucose concentration in adolescent schoolchildren. With the institution's ethical advisory committee approval, 96 adolescents (12 to 15 years old) completed two randomly assigned trials (one following breakfast consumption and one following breakfast omission), scheduled 7 days apart. Cognitive function tests (visual search test, Stroop test and Sternberg paradigm), a mood questionnaire and a finger prick blood sample (in a subgroup of 60 participants) were completed immediately following breakfast and 120 min after the baseline measures. Following breakfast consumption, accuracy on the more complex level of the visual search test was higher than following breakfast omission (p=0.021). Similarly, accuracy on the Stroop test was better maintained across the morning following breakfast consumption when compared to breakfast omission (p=0.022). Furthermore, responses on the Sternberg paradigm were quicker later in the morning following breakfast consumption, particularly on the more complex levels (p=0.012). Breakfast consumption also produced higher self-report energy and fullness, lower self-report tiredness and hunger and higher blood glucose concentrations (all p<0.0005). Overall, the findings of the present study suggest that breakfast consumption enhances cognitive function in an adolescent population when compared to breakfast omission.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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