A large number of Canadian students were still found to be skipping breakfast, despite having a widespread availability of school meal programs. The study from the University of Waterloo looked at the eating habits of 42,000 students from 87 secondary schools in Alberta and Ontario during the 2014/15 school year.
‘Breakfast skipping is still highly prevalent among Canadian adolescents, despite having knowledge about a healthy morning meal. ’It found that 39 percent of students reported eating breakfast fewer than three days in a typical school week.
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The findings were consistent with national data that showed nationwide, 48.5 percent of adolescents skipped breakfast at least once a week.
"In spite of the widely-acknowledged value of youth having a healthy morning meal, breakfast skipping is highly prevalent among Canadian adolescents," said Katelyn Godin, a doctoral candidate at Waterloo and lead author of the study.
"While we do know that breakfast programs are having a positive impact, with one-fifth of adolescents reporting eating breakfast at school once-a-week, there is still room for improvement."
Godin said breakfast programs are not reaching their full potential in Canada due to a lack of social awareness about their diverse benefits, lingering social stigma and limited economic support for the programs.