Children Who Skip Breakfast May Have Poor Nutritional Profiles

Children Who Skip Breakfast May Have Poor Nutritional Profiles

Children who skip breakfast daily may have nutritional deficiencies which may hinder their growth and development, a study shows. 

A team of researchers studied the nutritional intake of 802 children aged 4-10 years, and 884 children aged 11-18 years who participated in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling program between 2008 and 2012.

Breakfast was considered as intake of more than 100 calories between 6 am and 9 am. The results revealed that 31.5% of those who missed breakfast did not fulfill even the lower recommended nutrient intake (LRNI) of iron compared to only 4.4% of breakfast consuming children. About 19% did not fulfill LRNI for calcium, compared to 2.9% of breakfast-consuming children. Moreover, 21.5% children failed to meet LRNI for iodine, compared to 3.3% of breakfast-consuming children.

It was further shown that when the younger children (4-10 years old) took breakfast, they had higher folate, calcium, vitamin C and iodine profiles compared to when they missed it. The older children also had a greater calcium profile on breakfast-taking days. Overall, those who had breakfast daily had a better nutritional status than those who didn’t.

These findings indicate that breakfast is an important meal of the day, and children should not skip it. The researchers suggested that control of parents on children regarding eating habits at a young age is important for their growth and development.

Source: British Journal of Nutrition


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