Britain's schoolchildren spend £646m on junk food breakfasts each year according to a shock report, and parents confess they are unable to do anything about it.
Almost one quarter of all 7-14-year-olds are feasting on biscuits, cakes and meat snacks such as Peperami on the way to school and one in every class of 14-year-olds say they go to school on a cigarette, according to a report published by Kellogg's.
A public health nutritionist has warned this trend could impact the classroom, with concentration and discipline affected. Kathy Cowbrough, who was involved with the government's Sure Start Centres, said: "How often have we all seen young children not wanting to co-operate with harassed parents, or school children unable to stay alert for valuable lessons at school?
"This is because missing a decent breakfast means we can be saying goodbye to up to a quarter of the nutrients and energy we need for the day, making us more tired, irritable and less able to concentrate in the morning."
Parents are found to be fuelling the bad breakfast habits. 16% of youngsters say they are given on average £2.22 each day to buy breakfast on the way to school and one in five parents admit their children regularly choose to spend the cash on biscuits, cakes or sweets.
The Government today launched a free school meals trial in two areas of England to see if behaviour, health and academic standards improve.
By Janie Stamford
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