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Letters: A boost for breakfast in school

April 26, 2013

Re "Breakfast program criticized," April 19

Hungry children do not learn well. Young brains are highly dependent on glucose for optimal functioning. That's why 99% of children get fed on campus when they attend school in Japan.

The Los Angeles Unified School District's breakfast-in-the-classroom program makes both economic and pedagogical sense, bringing in more federal revenue for the district's food services and the nutritional prerequisites to learning.

Teacher opposition to this program is shortsighted. The loss of 30 minutes of instructional time is a small price to pay to ensure a classroom of students cognitively prepared to learn. Even exemplary teaching to classes of hungry children will not yield optimal learning.

If the U.S. ever wants its students to be competitive, it has to make sure that children have the food needed for optimal brain functioning.

William McCarthy


The writer is a professor at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health.


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