Food and Behaviour Research

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Breakfast reduces declines in attention and memory over the morning in schoolchildren

Wesnes, K.A., Pincock, C., Richardson, D., Helm, G., Hails S. (2003) Appetite 41(3) 329-331 

Web URL: Licensed users of Appetite (via Science Direct) can view the full text of this abstract here


Twenty-nine schoolchildren were tested throughout the morning on 4 successive days, having a different breakfast each day (either of the cereals Cheerios or Shreddies, glucose drink or No breakfast). A series of computerised tests of attention, working memory and episodic secondary memory was conducted prior to breakfast and again 30, 90, 150 and 210 min later. The glucose drink and No breakfast conditions were followed by declines in attention and memory, but the declines were significantly reduced in the two cereal conditions. This study provides objective evidence that a typical breakfast of cereal rich in complex carbohydrates can help maintain mental performance over the morning.