Feeding hungry schoolchildren does nothing to boost their learning, a new report shows.
The findings have surprised experts in a week when campaigning to introduce free food at schools to combat child poverty put pressure on the Government.
The only "significant positive effect" was that children felt less hungry, the study into free school breakfasts found.
Head of the study, Associate Professor Cliona Ni Murchu, said there were indications that attendance at school was also likely to improve but in reading, writing and maths there was no noticeable improvement.
Researchers at Auckland University's School of Population Health studied 423 children at decile one to four schools in Auckland, Waikato and Wellington for the 2010 school year.They were given a free daily breakfast - Weet-Bix, bread with honey, jam or Marmite, and Milo - by either the Red Cross or a private sector provider.
Full report here:
There is food and then there is food:
"Weet-Bix, bread with honey, jam or Marmite, and Milo" - and low fat milk, I presume. The problem with this diet is, while it fills the tummy, there are little to no nutrients to build strong bodies and bright brains.
We need to do an experiment: Two groups of hungry students. One group gets the bread, Marmite, etc while the other group is fed a diet of fried eggs, porridge with cream, a cup of Milo and a couple of flax oil capsules (or fish oil).
I think we will see a difference. In addition, the experimenters should measure body composition. I predict the children on the eggs and porridge diet will be thinner and more muscular, as well as being better learners by the end of the year.
Here's a video I made several years ago about nutrition. My son, Alama, is the star. He is now 13yrs and in very good health. He has no excess fat at all despite the higher than usual fat and protein content of his diet. He is nicely muscled.