The objective of the present study was to assess whether weight status, nutrient intake and dietary adequacy were associated with breakfast consumption patterns.
A representative sample of the US population was used in a secondary analysis of nutrient intake/diet quality and weight status by breakfast consumption patterns.
The 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
The study sample included African-American (AA) children aged 1-12 years (n 1389).
Forty-five per cent of children aged 1-5 years and 38 % of those aged 6-12 years consumed ready-to-eat cereal (RTEC) at breakfast; while 7.4 % and 16.9 % in those age groups skipped breakfast, respectively. The lowest mean BMI (P <or= 0.05) and mean waist circumference (P <or= 0.05) was found in children 1-12 years of age who consumed RTEC at breakfast compared with other consumption groups. RTEC breakfast consumers had the highest mean intakes of vitamins A, B6 and B12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, Ca, Fe and Zn (P <or= 0.05) and the highest Mean Adequacy Ratio (P <or= 0.05). RTEC breakfast consumers also had the highest intake of carbohydrates and total sugars, and the lowest intakes of total fat (P <or= 0.05).
Consuming RTEC at breakfast was associated with improved weight and nutrient adequacy in AA children. AA children in all breakfast categories still had mean intakes of most nutrients below recommended levels. The implications are that consuming a breakfast meal should be encouraged in these children, and that RTEC at breakfast provides important nutrients and may help promote a healthy weight.