School feeding programs exist in many countries, but few have been properly evaluated.
In this study, the short-term effects of breakfast on children's cognitive functions were examined.
The subjects were 97 undernourished (weight-for-age ¾-1 SD of reference) and 100 adequately nourished (weight-for-age>-1 SD) children in four primary schools in rural Jamaica.
The children were randomly assigned to a group provided with breakfast or a group given a quarter of an orange as a placebo, and then given a battery of four cognitive function tests.
After a few weeks the treatments were reversed and the tests repeated.
Undernourished children's performance improved significantly on a test of verbal fluency when they received breakfast, whereas that of the adequately nourished children did not change (breakfastxgroup interaction, P<0.05).
There were no other effects of breakfast on test scores.
The findings extend those of a previous Jamaican study conducted under more controlled conditions, and support the targeting of school meals to undernourished children.
Mots-clés Pascal : Programme sanitaire, Alimentation, Repas, Etablissement scolaire, Carence alimentaire, Fluidité verbale, Cognition, Langage, Enfant, Homme, Milieu rural, Jamaïque, Antilles, Amérique Centrale, Amérique, Age scolaire, Petit déjeuner
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Sanitary program, Feeding, Meal, Educational facility, Nutritional deficiency, Verbal fluidity, Cognition, Language, Child, Human, Rural environment, Jamaica, West Indies, Central America, America, School age
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0279501
Code Inist : 002B22C. Création : 01/03/1996.