Free healthy breakfasts in primary schools: a cluster randomised controlled trial of a policy intervention in Wales, UK

Murphy, S., Moore, G.F., Tapper, K., Lynch, R., Clarke, R., Raisanen, L., Desousa, C. and Moore, L. (2011) Free healthy breakfasts in primary schools: a cluster randomised controlled trial of a policy intervention in Wales, UK. Public Health Nutrition, 14(02), pp. 219-226. (doi:10.1017/S1368980010001886)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Abstract


Objective The present study evaluated the impact of a national school programme of universal free healthy breakfast provision in Wales, UK.

Design A cluster randomised controlled trial with repeated cross-sectional design and a 12-month follow-up. Primary outcomes were breakfast skipping, breakfast diet and episodic memory. Secondary outcomes were frequency of eating breakfast at home and at school, breakfast attitudes, rest-of-day diet and class behaviour.

Setting Primary schools in nine local education authority areas.

Subjects A total of 4350 students (aged 9–11 years) at baseline and 4472 at follow-up in 111 schools. Results Students in intervention schools reported significantly higher numbers of healthy food items consumed at breakfast and more positive attitudes towards breakfast eating at 12 months. Parents in intervention schools reported significantly higher rates of consumption of breakfast at school and correspondingly lower rates of breakfast consumption at home. No other significant differences were found.

Conclusions The intervention did not reduce breakfast skipping; rather, pupils substituted breakfast at home for breakfast at school. However, there were improvements in children’s nutritional intake at breakfast time, if not the rest of the day, and more positive attitudes to breakfast, which may have implications for life-course dietary behaviours. There was no impact on episodic memory or classroom behaviour, which may require targeting breakfast skippers.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moore, Professor Laurence
Authors: Murphy, S., Moore, G.F., Tapper, K., Lynch, R., Clarke, R., Raisanen, L., Desousa, C., and Moore, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:Public Health Nutrition
ISSN:1368-9800
ISSN (Online):1475-2727

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record