The role of breakfast in nutrient intake of urban schoolchildren.Public Health Nutr. 2007 Jan; 10(1):55-8.PH
To ascertain the breakfast habits of 10-15-year-old schoolchildren and to assess the quality of this meal as well as its relationship to the food consumption pattern for the full day.
SUBJECTS AND SETTING
Eight hundred and two schoolchildren, boys and girls, aged 10-15 years, belonging to different urban schools located in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.
The breakfast eating patterns of the children were studied and their impact on growth was assessed, using dietary recalls and anthropometric measurements.
Only 42.8% of the children ate breakfast regularly. Over half of the children skipped breakfast, ranging from daily to once in two weeks. The energy and protein composition of breakfasts eaten by the children indicated that those who did not skip breakfast met one-quarter to one-third of their total daily energy and protein requirements. Mean nutrient intakes calculated from 24-hour recalls revealed that the children's diets were inadequate compared with the recommended values for energy and protein. The inadequate energy intake was reflected in a high incidence of malnutrition in both boys and girls; 40.3% of the boys and 32.1% of the girls studied were found to be underweight. Protein intake was also inadequate among boys and girls, although a higher percentage of children met their protein requirements.
Over half of the schoolchildren studied skipped breakfast frequently, the main reason being getting up late. Children who consumed breakfast had higher daily intakes of energy and protein than children who skipped breakfast. These data confirm the importance of breakfast to overall dietary quality and adequacy in school-aged children.