Breakfast is an important source of micronutrients in the diet and its consumption has been linked to positive health outcomes. The present analysis investigated the contribution that breakfast cereals make to the nutrient intakes of the materially deprived (low income) UK population.
Data for 3728 respondents aged 2 years and over from the UK Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey (2003-2005) were analysed. Nutrient intakes of consumers and non-consumers of breakfast cereal were compared.
Breakfast cereals were consumed by 49% of men, 58% of women, 80% of boys and 80% of girls, and median intakes were: 35, 25, 29 and 21 g/d, respectively. Consumers of breakfast cereals had higher intakes of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, folate, vitamin B(6), vitamin B(12), iron and zinc than non-consumers. Breakfast cereal consumption was also related to higher intakes of calcium, attributable to higher milk consumption. The intake of wholegrain and high-fibre breakfast cereals was associated with a higher intake of non-starch polysaccharides. Intakes of niacin, biotin, calcium and zinc were higher but that of vitamin B(6) was lower among consumers of exclusively wholegrain and high-fibre breakfast cereals compared with consumers of other breakfast cereals. There were no significant differences observed in intakes of non-milk extrinsic sugars according to type of breakfast cereal consumed.
Breakfast cereals make a significant contribution to the micronutrient intake of the low-income UK population.