Nutrition Education and Behavioral Sciences
Objectives : This pilot, feasibility study examined the effects of implementing a free, egg-based ‘Breakfast in the Classroom’ program (BIC) on school breakfast participation, breakfast consumption, and snacking behavior compared to a Traditional School Breakfast Program (SBP) in middle-school adolescents. Cognitive performance was also assessed in a sub-set of participants based on BIC participation.
Ninety-two, 8th-grade students (age: 14 ± 0.1 y; BMI percentile based on weight for age: 73.1 ± 3.0 %) participated in the following acute crossover study. School breakfast participation, breakfast consumption at school, and snacking behavior at home were assessed through questionnaires, at baseline, during SBP at the Center Middle School, Kansas City, MO. Following these assessments, a 2-wk BIC program was implemented that provided free, reimbursable breakfasts with the addition of two eggs/day using hallway kiosks to all students. During week 3, breakfast and snacking questionnaires were again completed. Cognitive performance using the CNS-Vital Signs program was also completed prior to lunch.
Results : School breakfast participation increased by approximately 57% following BIC (94.4±0.8%) vs. SBP (37.2±2.9%; P< 0.001). Grain (P< 0.05), dairy (P< 0.05), and protein (P< 0.001) consumption increased following BIC vs. SPB. With respect to afternoon/evening snacking behavior, BIC decreased consumption of salty snacks (P< 0.001), candy (P< 0.005), and baked sweets (P< 0.01) at home vs. SBP. Lastly, executive function (P< 0.05) and cognitive flexibility (P=0.07, trend) improved in students who participated in BIC 3-5 times/wk vs. those who did not.
Implementation of an egg-based BIC improved school breakfast participation, consumption of higher-quality foods at school, cognitive performance, and unhealthy snacking at home in middle-school adolescents.
Funding Sources :
American Egg Board supplied eggs