The Breakfast Cereal Information Service

Nutritional Information


Evidence suggests that eating breakfast may improve cognition on many levels in adults, children and adolescents[1][2]. Positive effects on tasks involving memory, attention and cognitive function are seen consistently when comparing those who eat breakfast with those who don’t[3].

Improvements in alertness, contentment and satiety have also been attributed to breakfast consumption[4]. Evidence suggests that breakfast consumption in school children, often through school breakfast clubs, can also have a positive effect on academic performance[5].

In recent years attention has focused on whether the type of breakfast has specific benefits on cognitive function and other measures. There is no evidence to suggest that breakfast choices have any great effect, however mood enhancement may be observed when a breakfast is perceived as healthier [6].

Consuming breakfast prior to exercise may also help to improve physical performance, and reduce mental fatigue [7] suggesting that breakfast consumption is a positive step before physical activity.

[1] Fulford J. et al. (2016) The effect of breakfast versus no breakfast on brain activity in adolescents when performing cognitive tasks, as assessed by fMRI. Nutr Neurosci ,19(3):110-5

[2] Cooper S.B. et al. (2011) Breakfast consumption and cognitive function in adolescent schoolchildren. Physiol Behav, Jul 6;103(5):431-9

[3] Galioto R., Spitznagel M.B. (2016) The effects of breakfast and breakfast composition on cognition in adults. Adv Nutr, 7(3):576S-89S

[4] Adolphus K. et al. (2016) The Effects of Breakfast and Breakfast Composition on Cognition in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Adv Nutr, 7(3):590S-612S.

[5] Hoyland A. et al. (2009) A systematic review of the effect of breakfast on the cognitive performance of children and adolescents Nutr Res Rev, 22(2):220-43

[6] Lattimore P. et al. (2010) Regular consumption of a cereal breakfast. Effects on mood and body image satisfaction in adult non-obese women.  Appetite, 55(3):512-21

[7] Veasey R.C. et al. (2015) The Effect of Breakfast Prior to Morning Exercise on Cognitive Performance, Mood and Appetite Later in the Day in Habitually Active Women. Nutrients, 7(7):5712-32


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