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Center Middle School first in country to launch breakfast study on effects of protein

Posted: 10:02 PM, Aug 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-13 23:39:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Center Middle School is at the center of a brand new study on what kids eat for breakfast and how it impacts them.

The district was awarded a "Breakfast in the Classroom" grant  and decided to take its efforts to the next level. Heather Leidy, a professor at Purdue University, is working with Center schools to determine if offering protein-rich breakfasts increase student’s overall health and well-being.

"How does it affect their cognition? How does it affect their appetite, mood? How does it affect healthy body weight?" Michelle Kruse, wellness coordinator for Center Schools, said.

In a four-week pilot of the 8th-grade class in May 2018, Kruse noted a decrease in afternoon snacking, nurse visits and behavior referrals.

Researchers are also tracking height and weight for some students, with parent consent. Although, the weight will not be shared with the students themselves.

Deion Hardy is starting the 8th grade this year and is eager to get started with the program. "Yea I'm excited because I get free breakfast and I get to eat in class."

"He said he ate in the cafeteria twice for breakfast last year which was kind of surprising to me because I just didn't know he was skipping breakfast," Deion’s mom Linda shared.

Right now, the project is slated to run through the 2018-2019 school year. Center Middle School is the only school in the country taking part in this study.

Sharon Nibbelink, Center School District Superintendent, said she would define success as, "Kids that are ready to learn. Kids that come to school every day. Kids that are attentive and focused and kids that are not hungry."