Researchers have confirmed in New York City that kids eating breakfast at their desks does not result in obesity.
Since 2003, New York City has served free breakfasts to all students. In 2007, they began to serve breakfast in the classroom. Approximately 400 of New York’s 1,800 schools offer classroom breakfast, and over 30,000 meals are served each morning.
According to the New York City Department of Education, 80 percent of the students in schools where breakfast is served in the classroom participate, an increase over the 25 percent when the program began.
The study was published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. It found that there was no increase in student obesity, however there was no improvement in students’ attendance and academic performance.
“Moving breakfast into the classroom is intended to encourage participation in school breakfast programs, particularly among students unable to arrive early, and to reduce the stigma associated with a trip to the cafeteria,” said study author Amy Ellen Schwartz. She is director of NYU’s Institute for Education and Social Policy and a faculty member at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.