IRELAND Girls Need Big Breakfast?
Reuters, September 30, 2003
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Girls need a more filling breakfast than boys if they are to do
their best in school tests, according to researchers in Northern
Health experts at the University of Ulster said memory and
attention tests found boys did better when they were a little
hungry while girls were best after a satisfying morning meal.
"The link between having breakfast and performance at school or
work is well established," said Dr Barbara Stewart from the
Northern Ireland Center for Diet and Health at the university.
"But this research suggests girls need a more satisfying
breakfast than boys to perform at their best." During the
project, pupils were fed a breakfast of toast, or beans on
toast, and then tested on cognitive ability. As tests became
more difficult, those who had eaten beans outperformed students
who had been given just toast. The researchers suggested girls
benefited most because a breakfast high in carbohydrate and
protein helped counteract the effect of a negative mood on their
"Due to the interaction between cognition and mood a satisfying,
high carbohydrate/protein breakfast, such as beans on toast,
helps the girls perform at their best," said Stewart.
"While boys perform better when their breakfast leaves them
feeling a little hungry."
The findings were being presented this week at the ninth
European Nutrition Conference in Rome.
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