Impacts of the Primary School Free Breakfast Initiative on socio-economic inequalities in breakfast consumption among 9-11-year-old schoolchildren in Wales
AuthorMoore, GF; Murphy, S; Chaplin, K; Lyons, RA; Atkinson, M; Moore, L
Source TitlePublic Health Nutrition
PublisherCAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS
University of Melbourne Author/sMoore, Laurence
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMoore, G. F., Murphy, S., Chaplin, K., Lyons, R. A., Atkinson, M. & Moore, L. (2014). Impacts of the Primary School Free Breakfast Initiative on socio-economic inequalities in breakfast consumption among 9-11-year-old schoolchildren in Wales. PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITION, 17 (6), pp.1280-1289. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980013003133.
Access StatusOpen Access
OBJECTIVES: Universal interventions may widen or narrow inequalities if disproportionately effective among higher or lower socio-economic groups. The present paper examines impacts of the Primary School Free Breakfast Initiative in Wales on inequalities in children's dietary behaviours and cognitive functioning. DESIGN: Cluster-randomised controlled trial. Responses were linked to free school meal (FSM) entitlement via the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage databank. Impacts on inequalities were evaluated using weighted school-level regression models with interaction terms for intervention × whole-school percentage FSM entitlement and intervention × aggregated individual FSM entitlement. Individual-level regression models included interaction terms for intervention × individual FSM entitlement. SETTING: Fifty-five intervention and fifty-six wait-list control primary schools. SUBJECTS: Approximately 4500 children completed measures of dietary behaviours and cognitive tests at baseline and 12-month follow-up. RESULTS: School-level models indicated that children in intervention schools ate a greater number of healthy items for breakfast than children in control schools (b = 0·25; 95 % CI 0·07, 0·44), with larger increases observed in more deprived schools (interaction term b = 1·76; 95 % CI 0·36, 3·16). An interaction between intervention and household-level deprivation was not significant. Despite no main effects on breakfast skipping, a significant interaction was observed, indicating declines in breakfast skipping in more deprived schools (interaction term b = -0·07; 95 % CI -0·15, -0·00) and households (OR = 0·67; 95 % CI 0·46, 0·98). No significant influence on inequality was observed for the remaining outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Universal breakfast provision may reduce socio-economic inequalities in consumption of healthy breakfast items and breakfast skipping. There was no evidence of intervention-generated inequalities in any outcomes.
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