New research has found that the chances of achieving an above average performance was up to twice as high for pupils who ate breakfast, compared with those who did not, according to research from Cardiff University.

BBC News is reporting that this is the first time a direct link between pupils’ breakfast quality and consumption and their educational attainment has been demonstrated.

The research aimed to examine the link between breakfast consumption in 9-11 year old children at more than 100 primary schools in Wales and educational outcomes obtained 6-18 months later.

The children’s results in Summative Teacher Assessments (STAs) were compared to earlier data collected on breakfast consumption, which was listed by pupils over a period of 24 hours, the BBC reports.

Hannah Littlecott, lead author from Cardiff University, said: “These findings show that health and education are not competing priorities, but are synergistic. Therefore investment in improving health may achieve improvements in both health and education simultaneously.

“Investing in breakfast clubs with the aim of promoting both health and educational outcomes in schools would be a positive step towards achieving this synergy.

“In light of the findings, the potential knock on effects of disinvestment in school nutrition on health and educational outcomes need to be carefully considered.

“Also, further research is required into the mechanism by which the link between breakfast and educational outcomes occurs and how to target those children who are most in need, such as children from more deprived families who are less likely to eat a healthy breakfast at home.”

The BBC reports that Public Health Wales supports the study’s findings.