First-of-its-kind Canadian report links nutrition to academic success
Toronto, ON (May 11, 2012) - The Toronto District School Board released a report today that directly links eating a healthy breakfast with improved student achievement and overall behaviour.
The study shows students who have a good morning meal have an improved ability to stay on task, better behaviour and attitude, improved attendance, and were less likely to be suspended.
The two-year Feeding our Future: The First-And Second-Year Evaluation study followed 6,000 students in four middle schools (Grades 6 to 8) and three secondary schools in 2008 and 2009. The study monitored the implementation of the Feeding Our Future program — a joint initiative between the TDSB and the Toronto Foundation for Student Success — to determine its impact on student health, behaviour, attendance, attention and achievement.
READ THE STUDY
“This is tremendous work that highlights the importance of working with our provincial and municipal partners so that all students can succeed. We will do all we can to continue nutrition programs wherever it is needed.”
- Chris Bolton, Chair of the TDSB
“This work gives us concrete facts about the direct relationship between nutrition and the academic success of our students. Healthy food makes healthy students, which allows them to grow and focus better in the classroom.”
- Donna Quan, Deputy Director Academic, TDSB
“Feeding Our Future proves that your mother was right: eat a healthy breakfast and you will do well in school. The new research affirms the fundamental importance of student nutrition programs and makes it clear that healthy food allows students to grow socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically.”
– Catherine Parsonage, Executive Director, Toronto Foundation for Student Success
- 78% of students who ate breakfast on most days were on-track for graduation compared to 61% of students who ate breakfast only on a few days or not at all
- Secondary students who ate breakfast at school frequently were less likely to be suspended (3% vs. 6%) and more likely to attend school regularly (4.8% absenteeism rate vs. 6.7%)
- Grade 7 and 8 students who ate breakfast at school on most days achieved or exceeded provincial reading standards by a rate 10% higher than those who did not have breakfast
- 75% of students who ate morning meals on most school days rated their health as excellent or good compared to just 58% of those who ate on two days or fewer