Breakfast skipped by thousands of Northern Ireland secondary school pupils

Most secondary school pupils are not eating enough breakfast before the start of school lessons, according to new research.

  • Up to two-thirds of girls and half of boys either skip breakfast completely or do not consume enough food before lunch is served.
  • Children in economically challenged households are far less likely to have breakfast than their classmates in more prosperous areas.

The research, carried out by the University of Leeds, surveyed almost 2,500 pupils at 18 secondary schools in Northern Ireland. Led by Reverend Peter Simpson of the School of Food Science and Nutrition, the study is the first of its kind to gather information about the breakfast eating habits of Northern Ireland’s secondary school pupils. Such information is usually obtained as part of the Health Behaviour of School Children (HBSC) survey conducted by the World Health Organisation. Northern Ireland is one of the few European countries not to take part.The research follows earlier studies in other parts of the UK that found links between eating breakfast and improved behaviour, enhanced thinking skills, and better overall school performance.

To read the article: Breakfast skipped by thousands of Northern Ireland secondary school pupils


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