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E. A Healthy Breakfast Leads to Healthy Schoolchildren

Narrator: This is Science Today. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day especially when it comes to schoolchildren. In a review of national studies pertaining to the relationship between kids' health and school performance, Dr. Howard Taras, a pediatrician at the University of California , San Diego School of Medicine, found that if kids eat breakfast, they will perform better.

Taras : Any school nurse or even front office school secretary will tell you that the ones who don't eat breakfast are the ones who come wandering in with headaches and stomachaches and sleepiness an other problems. So, we've actually validated that suspicion.

Narrator: And although the studies indicate that it's the calories in the meal that make the difference and not necessarily the content, as a physician, Taras recommends parents give their kids as healthy a breakfast as possible.

Taras : Because they're going to live longer with a healthy breakfast than with an unhealthy breakfast. The other thing we found is that if you serve breakfast at school, we get better attendance rates and less tardiness.

Narrator: The study's main findings were that children can learn at optimal levels if they sleep well, eat right and get enough exercise. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.