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Numerous scientific studies have investigated the effect of breakfast consumption on learning in children and adolescents. Children and adolescents have received particular research attention for a number of reasons. Firstly, breakfast skipping is common. Secondly, breakfast has the potential to improve children’s cognitive function at school, which may benefit learning and academic performance. Additionally, children and adolescents’ higher brain glucose metabolism and higher sleep demands mean they experience a longer overnight fasting period. Therefore, breakfast consumption is important for concentration and learning during the school morning.

The webinar will be presented by both Professor Louise Dye and Dr Katie Adolphus and will focus on two main topics. Firstly, Dr Adolphus will present the scientific evidence on the effects of breakfast on cognitive function, academic performance, and in-class behaviour from systematic reviews, human dietary intervention studies, and epidemiological studies. Secondly. Professor Dye will present the real-world impact of breakfast consumption in England in the light of increased austerity and food insecurity, with focus on the National School Breakfast Programme and The School Breakfast Bill. The recent School Breakfast Bill is primary legislation which would require all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England to provide children with access to a healthy school breakfast. The School Breakfast Bill passed its first reading in Parliament and the second reading of the Bill is currently scheduled for 26 February 2021.