Skipping breakfast affects girls the most, says study

Both genders who skipped breakfast performed poorer on exams.

Skipping breakfast before a day of school significantly reduced students' speed and accuracy on cognitive and memory tests compared with those who ate breakfast, according to a study recently published online in the journal "Appetite."

Researchers compared the performance of 1,386 students from 32 schools throughout the U.K. on several Internet-based tests of attention, memory and reaction time. Subjects included 721 girls and 665 boys age 6 to 16 who logged onto a website between 7:42 a.m. and 12:33 p.m. On testing day, 1,202 students reported having breakfast and 184 didn't have breakfast. A higher percentage of girls didn't have breakfast, 7.6% compared with 5.6% of boys.

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