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Study Shows Breakfast Programs Lead to Better Academic Achievement

School Breakfast Program Leads to Better Academic Achievement, Study Finds

Recent research has found that students from low-income families who participate in federal school breakfast programs perform better academically.

The study, conducted by the University of Iowa, "found students who attend schools that participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s School Breakfast Program [SBP] have higher achievement scores in math, science, and reading than students in schools that don’t participate," according to an article on

“These results suggest that the persistent exposure to the relatively more nutritious breakfast offered through the subsidized breakfast program throughout elementary school can yield important gains in achievement,” said researcher Dr. David Frisvold, an assistant professor of economics, in the article.

Frisvold, the article said, "conducted his study by examining academic performance from students in schools that are just below the threshold and thus not required to offer free breakfasts, and those that are just over it and do offer them."

"He found the schools that offered free breakfasts showed significantly better academic performance than schools that did not, and that the impact was cumulative so that the longer the school participated in the SBP, the higher their achievement," the article said. "Math scores were about 25 percent higher at participating schools during a students’ elementary school tenure than would be expected otherwise. Reading and science scores showed similar gains, Frisvold said."

According to the article, "Frisvold said the study suggests subsidized breakfast programs are an effective tool to help elementary school students from low-income families achieve more in school and be better prepared for later life."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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