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Having Breakfast Affects Reaction Time

A total of 160 participants, 81 females and 79 males between 17 to 58 years of age participated. Each subject asked to press a left arrow key on a computer keyboard when red color appeared on the screen and the right arrow key when blue color appeared. Reaction time was recorded. The mean reaction time of the breakfast group was found to be faster than that of the non-breakfast group. The difference was found to be statistically significant and null hypothesis was rejected. The influence of age, gender and composition of the breakfast diet on reaction time has however not been explored in this research. This aspect will have to be further explored in future studies.This research was aimed at investigating whether consuming breakfast has any effect on reaction time of subjects. Research such as that by Veasy et al. (2013) has suggested that breakfast affects cognitive performance. In their study, Veasy et al. found that skipping breakfast improved Four Choice Reaction Time performance. On the contrary, Tuttle, Wilson and Daum (1949) showed that subjects who skipped breakfast had slower reaction times. In their experiment, five out of six females had a significant increase in choice reaction time in a no-breakfast condition. Although breakfast consumption is associated with several health benefits, research is still inconclusive on the effect of breakfast on reaction time (Smith, 2012). This is because studies have shown contrary results and suffer from limitations such as small sample size, use of subjective assessments and inconsistent findings (Smith, 2012).Evidence suggests that skipping breakfast affects short term memory, problem solving, episodic memory and attention in children (Mahoney et al., 2005). In children who consume breakfast, improvements are seen in logical reasoning, arithmetic, vigilance attention and problem solving (Mahoney et al., 2005). Wesnes, Pincock and Scholey (2012) in their internet based study on 1386 children aged