The Learning Connection

Research shows improved nutrition — starting with breakfast — coupled with increased physical activity may lead to improved academic performance.

What is the learning connection?

The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success Through Healthy School Environments, a report released by GENYOUth Foundation, National Dairy Council, American College of Sports Medicine and the American School Health Association, reinforces the “learning connection” — the crucial link between quality nutrition, physical activity and academic performance. Findings suggest:

  • More than half (62%) of all teens say they do not eat breakfast every day of the week.
  • Breakfast eaters have better attention and memory than breakfast skippers.
  • Three in four high school students aren’t active for the recommended 60 minutes each day.
  • Students who were more active during school performed better on standardized tests for reading, math and spelling.

How can schools encourage healthy habits?

Schools are an ideal place to promote childhood health and wellness because American kids spend more than 2,000 hours in school each year. Proven school wellness programs like Fuel Up to Play 60 empower students to make positive changes at school and can bring healthy changes to life in the classroom.

School breakfast programs are especially important and may positively impact children’s nutrition and learning. In fact, research shows that those who eat breakfast have better attention and memory than breakfast skippers and students who are more active during school perform better on tests.