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Eating breakfast and its impact on children's daily diet

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Abstract Objective: 

To describe the impact of breakfast eating on the nutrient intakes of New Zealand children aged 5–14 years. Design: 

Secondary data analysis of a cross-sectional national survey. Subjects: 

A total of 3275 children aged 5–14 years. Setting: 

Dietary data were collected primarily in the homes of the children. Main outcome measures: 

‘Breakfast consumption’ was based on whether any food items were consumed between 6 and 9 a.m. from 24-hour diet recall data. Nutrient intake was also based on 24-hour diet recall. Data analyses: 

Demographic profile of breakfast eaters was determined. Difference in daily nutrient intakes between breakfast and non-breakfast eaters was determined. Results: 

In total, 84% of New Zealand children reported eating breakfast. Younger children were more likely to eat breakfast than older children. Breakfast habits differed between Māori, Pacific and ‘New Zealand European & Others’ children. When intakes were adjusted for the demographic variables that significantly affected breakfast consumption patterns, daily nutrient intake of children who ate breakfast compared with those who did not, was significantly better. This was true for all ethnic groups. Cereal (including cold, ready-to-eat and cooked) was the most common breakfast food. Conclusion: 

Although the majority of New Zealand children consume breakfast, a significant improvement in daily nutrient intake could be achieved for children of all ethnic groups who currently do not consume breakfast.
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Keywords: New Zealand; breakfast; children; diet; nutrients; nutritional epidemiology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand 2: LINZ ® Activity and Health Research Unit and

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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