Researchers at King’s have found that children who regularly skip breakfast may not be consuming the daily amounts of key nutrients for growth and development recommended by the UK government. The findings support a key public health message and add to an existing body of evidence that highlights the importance of regular breakfast habits.
Children who ate breakfast every day were found to have higher daily intakes of key nutrients such as folate (important for the development of genetic material), calcium, iron and iodine (key in the development of thyroid function) than those who skipped breakfast.
This study provides evidence that breakfast is key for parents to ensure that their children are getting the nutrition they need.
– Dr Gerda Pot, Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences.
Authors have attributed these findings to higher levels of parental control over eating habits at a young age.
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The study also showed that only 6.5 per cent of 4-10 year olds missed breakfast every day, compared with nearly 27 per cent of 11-18 year olds. The data also suggested that girls were more likely to miss breakfast than boys and household income was found to be higher in the families of children eating breakfast every day.
Dr Gerda Pot, senior author of the study and Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London said: ‘Further studies that investigate specific foods and dietary quality would help to identify if the differences are due to the different types of breakfast being eaten by different age groups, as well as provide more insight into the impact of breakfast on dietary quality overall.’
Find out more about the study here.