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Effects of a free school breakfast programme on school attendance, achievement, psychosocial function, and nutrition: a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial

Ni Mhurchu, Cliona, Turley, Maria, Gorton, Delvine, Jiang, Yannan, Michie, Jo, Maddison, Ralph and Hattie, John 2010, Effects of a free school breakfast programme on school attendance, achievement, psychosocial function, and nutrition: a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial, BMC public health, vol. 10, Article number: 738, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-10-738.

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Title Effects of a free school breakfast programme on school attendance, achievement, psychosocial function, and nutrition: a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial
Author(s) Ni Mhurchu, Cliona
Turley, Maria
Gorton, Delvine
Jiang, Yannan
Michie, Jo
Maddison, RalphORCID iD for Maddison, Ralph orcid.org/0000-0001-8564-5518
Hattie, John
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 10
Season Article number: 738
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2010
ISSN 1471-2458
Keyword(s) Absenteeism
Adolescent
Child
Child, Preschool
Diet
Educational Status
Female
Food Services
Humans
Male
Mental Health
New Zealand
Nutrition Assessment
Schools
Social Behavior
Social Welfare
Students
Summary BACKGROUND: Approximately 55,000 children in New Zealand do not eat breakfast on any given day. Regular breakfast skipping has been associated with poor diets, higher body mass index, and adverse effects on children's behaviour and academic performance. Research suggests that regular breakfast consumption can improve academic performance, nutrition and behaviour. This paper describes the protocol for a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial of a free school breakfast programme. The aim of the trial is to determine the effects of the breakfast intervention on school attendance, achievement, psychosocial function, dietary habits and food security.

METHODS/DESIGN: Sixteen primary schools in the North Island of New Zealand will be randomised in a sequential stepped wedge design to a free before-school breakfast programme consisting of non-sugar coated breakfast cereal, milk products, and/or toast and spreads. Four hundred children aged 5-13 years (approximately 25 per school) will be recruited. Data collection will be undertaken once each school term over the 2010 school year (February to December). The primary trial outcome is school attendance, defined as the proportion of students achieving an attendance rate of 95% or higher. Secondary outcomes are academic achievement (literacy, numeracy, self-reported grades), sense of belonging at school, psychosocial function, dietary habits, and food security. A concurrent process evaluation seeks information on parents', schools' and providers' perspectives of the breakfast programme.

DISCUSSION: This randomised controlled trial will provide robust evidence of the effects of a school breakfast programme on students' attendance, achievement and nutrition. Furthermore the study provides an excellent example of the feasibility and value of the stepped wedge trial design in evaluating pragmatic public health intervention programmes.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1471-2458-10-738
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2010, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081967

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.