An observational study of schoolchildren in Greece reveals that skipping breakfast is common among school-going children and they tend to have an unhealthy lifestyle profile. The findings published in Nutrition & Dietetics will contribute to the implementation of policies that would boost breakfast consumption in students.
In the study of 177,091 Greek children aged eight to 17 years old, almost one in four schoolchildren (22.4 percent of boys and 23.1 percent of girls) skipped breakfast. Characteristics associated with skipping breakfast were being female, being older, being overweight/obese, having a poorer diet, getting inadequate physical activity, having insufficient sleep, and having increased screen time.
‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Missing out on it diminishes the cognitive ability and physical strength of the children, that are essential to carry out their daily endeavors.’
After adjustments for several confounding factors, poor dietary habits, insufficient sleep (less than eight hours), and increased screen time (more than two hours) increased the odds for skipping breakfast by 80 percent, 23 percent, and 22.5 percent, respectively.