Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Free healthy breakfasts in primary schools: a cluster randomised controlled trial of a policy intervention in Wales, UK

Murphy, Simon ORCID:, Moore, Graham ORCID:, Tapper, Katy, Lynch, Rebecca Jayne, Clarke, Roger, Raisanen, Lawrence Matthew, Desousa, C. and Moore, Laurence Anthony Russell 2011. Free healthy breakfasts in primary schools: a cluster randomised controlled trial of a policy intervention in Wales, UK. Public Health Nutrition 14 (2) , pp. 219-226. 10.1017/S1368980010001886

[thumbnail of Murphy 2011.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Download (194kB) | Preview


OBJECTIVE: The present study evaluated the impact of a national school programme of universal free healthy breakfast provision in Wales, UK. DESIGN: A cluster randomised controlled trial with repeated cross-sectional design and a 12-month follow-up. Primary outcomes were breakfast skipping, breakfast diet and episodic memory. Secondary outcomes were frequency of eating breakfast at home and at school, breakfast attitudes, rest-of-day diet and class behaviour. SETTING: Primary schools in nine local education authority areas. SUBJECTS: A total of 4350 students (aged 9-11 years) at baseline and 4472 at follow-up in 111 schools. RESULTS: Students in intervention schools reported significantly higher numbers of healthy food items consumed at breakfast and more positive attitudes towards breakfast eating at 12 months. Parents in intervention schools reported significantly higher rates of consumption of breakfast at school and correspondingly lower rates of breakfast consumption at home. No other significant differences were found. CONCLUSIONS: The intervention did not reduce breakfast skipping; rather, pupils substituted breakfast at home for breakfast at school. However, there were improvements in children's nutritional intake at breakfast time, if not the rest of the day, and more positive attitudes to breakfast, which may have implications for life-course dietary behaviours. There was no impact on episodic memory or classroom behaviour, which may require targeting breakfast skippers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Institute of Society and Health (CISHE)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Uncontrolled Keywords: Randomised controlled trial; Free breakfasts; Schoolchildren; Intervention
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 24/02/2014).
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 1368-9800
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 30 May 2023 00:35

Citation Data

Cited 50 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics