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An investigation of the effects of breakfast cereals on alertness, cognitive function and other aspects of the reported well-being of children

Smith, Andrew Paul ORCID: 2010. An investigation of the effects of breakfast cereals on alertness, cognitive function and other aspects of the reported well-being of children. Nutritional neuroscience 13 (5) , pp. 230-236. 10.1179/147683010X12611460764642

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Rationale: Previous research has shown that consumption of breakfast cereal improves alertness, cognition and other indicators of reported well-being. Further research is needed to determine whether such effects are observed in children consuming different cereal products. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of consuming different breakfast cereals on parents' perceptions of the alertness, cognitive function and other aspects of the well-being of their children. Subjects and methods: Two hundred and thirteen children, (108 female, 105 male; mean age, 8.11 years, SD 2.04 years), recruited from schools in Cardiff, participated in the study. Baseline measures of breakfast consumption and different aspects of reported well-being (mental health, cognitive functioning, alertness, physical health, and digestive problems) were recorded. Following this, children were allowed to try three cereals and selected the one that they found most acceptable (63 chose Cornflakes; 63 Rice Krispies ; and 53 Rice Krispies Multigrain). These groups consumed these cereals on a daily basis for 2 weeks. Measures of well-being were recorded on days 7 and 14. The breakfast cereal groups were compared with 34 children who consumed no breakfast. Results: The baseline results showed that those who consumed breakfast cereal were perceived as having better well-being (fewer mental health problems, a more positive mood, higher alertness and fewer bowel problems) than those who did not consume breakfast. This was confirmed in the intervention study with breakfast cereal consumption being associated with reports of lower depression, emotional distress and fatigue, greater alertness, fewer cognitive problems, and fewer minor symptoms and bowel problems. These effects were apparent after both the first and second week. They were also observed for all cereals. Conclusions: Overall, the results of this study show that breakfast cereal consumption by children is associated with greater well-being.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
T Technology > TX Home economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cognition ; Children ; Breakfast cereal ; Well-being ; Alertness
ISSN: 1028-415X
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 08:35

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