School kids who skip their breakfast miss out on essential healthy brain fuel, reveals a new study.
The national MBF Healthwatch survey discovered that children 'wag' breakfast as they have 'no time' to eat, they are 'too tired' or 'can't be bothered' to have a meal before going to school.
As per the survey, 22 percent of parents interviewed said their children skip breakfast on three to five school days of each week, and a further 20 percent skip breakfast on one or two school days.
The remaining 58 percent of parents said their school-aged children always ate breakfast before school.
"It is disturbing to find that 42 percent of children are sent to school on one or more days on an empty stomach because it sends a clear message at an early age that breakfast isn't important," Bupa Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christine Bennett said.
"Wagging breakfast is the healthy lifestyle equivalent of driving your car on an empty petrol tank, it inevitably runs out when you most need it.
"Research shows that skipping breakfast results in reduced learning, reduced attention and poor food choices for the rest of the day. Children who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight, which in the long term can lead to the development of chronic health issues.
"Children who miss out on breakfast are also less likely to get the recommended intake of dairy, fruit and vegetables," she said.
Around 51.6 percent parents said there was no time for breakfast because of the pressures of being late for school or work or because of sleeping in.
"Parents should encourage their children to eat breakfast. Storing a few simple ingredients in the cupboard or fridge or organizing breakfast the night before can help in the morning rush. Healthy shakes and cereal bars are great for eating on the way to school. Toast, yoghurt and fruit are also quick, easy options," Bennett added.