Effects of eating breakfast on children and adolescents: A systematic review of potentially relevant outcomes in economic evaluations
Background: Breakfast is often described as the most important meal of the day. Several studies have focused on examining if breakfast habits have any short-term effects on school attendance, academic achievement, and general health in children and adolescents. Informed decisions of whether to promote eating breakfast or not require a more long-term perspective.
Objective: The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of scientific publications studying the effects identified as potentially relevant for the economic evaluation of eating breakfast in children and adolescents.
Design: A systematic literature review was conducted. Studies were identified by searching the electronic databases PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsycINFO between January 2000 and October 2017. The inclusion criteria applied were published articles from peer-reviewed journals with full text in English, quantitative studies collecting primary data with school-aged children, and adolescents aged from 6 to 18 years as participants, performed entirely or partly in countries with advanced economies, except Japan and Taiwan.
Results: Twenty-six studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, and studies that were judged to be of at least moderate quality were included in the analysis. The results of the review of eating breakfast studies showed positive and conclusive effects on cognitive performance, academic achievement, quality of life, well-being and on morbidity risk factors.
Conclusions: The overall assessment of the studies indicated positive effects of eating breakfast. How the identified effects influence societal costs and an individual’s quality-adjusted life years require further research.
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