2010-2011 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
Breakfast is deemed the most important meal of the day by many experts. Yet, many college students skip breakfast for a variety of factors, including lack of time. Many studies have even shown that there is a direct correlation between eating breakfast and higher academic achievement in primary and secondary school students. However, research at the college level is limited. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of breakfast consumption on academic performance, as measured by grade point average (GPA) in college students. Surveys were collected from 251 undergraduate students at the University of Kentucky. Subjects included 251 students, 106 males and 145 females. The results that were statistically significant included: (1.) Females (3.28±0.44) had a higher GPA than males (3.10±0.59, p= 0.01495), (2.) Those who ate breakfast (3.30±0.46) had a higher GPA than those who did not (3.06±0.58, p=0.001254), (3.) Those who were very alert (3.53±0.395) had a higher GPA than those who were alert (3.21±0.502), somewhat alert (3.12±0.514), or not alert (2.90±0.764), (4.) GPA was higher in those who did not (3.30±0.54) have a hard time concentrating versus those who did (3.08±0.49, p>0.001587), (5.) GPA was highest in those who eat breakfast daily (3.40±0.45). However, it was only statistically significant between those who ate breakfast 2-3 times daily versus daily and 5-6 times a week versus daily, and (6.) GPA was higher in those who considered breakfast as the most important meal (3.28±0.44 vs. 3.14±0.58). It is clear from this research that regular consumption of breakfast does impact academic performance at the college level. College students should be better-educated on the importance of a well-balanced breakfast.