Could Skipping Breakfast Hurt Your Grades?

Maddie Flickinger , Staff Writer

While fourth quarter brings the first signs of Summer, it also brings the most dreaded time of year for students at Oakton. Within the next couple of weeks, exam season will be coming at us in full force, and while we are so preoccupied studying, cramming, and trying to complete all of our homework assignments on time we often forget to grab something to eat before we scramble out the door in the morning. While most of us think nothing of this, many experts say that skipping breakfast is possibly one of the worst things to do during a testing period other than not studying.

Skipping breakfast is something that over 64% of high school students do on a regular basis. While most of us know that skipping breakfast is bad for your health so much so that it can cause weight gain, a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and heart problems not a lot of us are willing to admit that it can have a negative impact on learning and especially studying. However, multiple studies have shown that skipping breakfast has a negative impact on the mind. One study in particular concluded that students that skip breakfast regularly experience lack of focus in the classroom and a poor memory. A different study stated that skipping breakfast could lead to learning disabilities along with emotional problems in young students. It also stated that students that didn’t skip breakfast had exceptionally higher math scores in class compared to the students that skipped breakfast. Students that ate breakfast everyday proved that they had a much higher concentration rate than the other children and were also much more engaged and were easily able to comprehend the learning material. They also had a faster metabolism and experienced less headaches. All of the studies concluded that the students that skipped breakfast had a much harder time in and out of the classroom and repeatedly had poor test scores especially in math.

Another problem that is just as bad as skipping breakfast on test day is eating an extremely unhealthy breakfast. Unhealthy breakfasts such as donuts, fast food meals, iced coffees, coffee cakes, and sugar filled breakfast bars may be fun to have once in a while but shouldn’t be something that replaces the need for a healthy breakfast every morning. Students that reported eating unhealthy breakfasts were more prone to becoming fatigued during the day, developing headaches or even migraines, becoming nauseous, and feeling a sense of poor concentration. They, along with the students that skipped breakfast, had lower test scores and a lack of interest in class.

Since skipping and eating unhealthy breakfasts normally start because an individual is short on time or too lazy to get up and make a homemade breakfast, here are some tips for people who need to start getting a grip on their mornings. The first one is to prepare something the night before. Almost all teens have seen the overnight oats trends on instagram or pinterest and they are easy to make as long as you have a glass jar and some oats. You can even get creative and throw in some fruit. Another overnight meal that you could prepare is a simple fruit salad that would be waiting in your fridge in the morning or a yogurt parfait with fruits and granola. If you are looking to kick start your day and even get another 5 minutes of studying in you could set your alarm for 15 minutes before you usually get up and make a homemade meal that you can either pack up to take with you or eat while you get ready. The quickest way to grab a meal is to go to your local grocery store and find a healthy premade breakfast. That way if you are really in a rush in the morning you can quickly pop something in the toaster or microwave and head out the door. So this exam season make sure that you eat breakfast and study and you’ll be getting high scores in no time!