- BELFAST (Reuters) - Girls
need a more filling breakfast than boys if they are to do their best in
school tests, according to researchers in Northern Ireland.
- Health experts at the University of Ulster said memory
and attention tests found boys did better when they were a little hungry
while girls were best after a satisfying morning meal.
- "The link between having breakfast and performance
at school or work is well established," said Dr Barbara Stewart from
the Northern Ireland Center for Diet and Health at the university.
- "But this research suggests girls need a more satisfying
breakfast than boys to perform at their best." During the project,
pupils were fed a breakfast of toast, or beans on toast, and then tested
on cognitive ability. As tests became more difficult, those who had eaten
beans outperformed students who had been given just toast. The researchers
suggested girls benefited most because a breakfast high in carbohydrate
and protein helped counteract the effect of a negative mood on their academic
- "Due to the interaction between cognition and mood
a satisfying, high carbohydrate/protein breakfast, such as beans on toast,
helps the girls perform at their best," said Stewart.
- "While boys perform better when their breakfast
leaves them feeling a little hungry."
- The findings were being presented this week at the ninth
European Nutrition Conference in Rome.
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