The relationship of breakfast skipping and type of breakfast consumption with nutrient intake and weight status in children and adolescents: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2006

J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Jun;110(6):869-78. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.03.023.


Background: National data comparing nutrient intakes and anthropometric measures in children/adolescents in the United States who skip breakfast or consume different types of breakfasts are limited.

Objective: To examine the relationship between breakfast skipping and type of breakfast consumed with nutrient intake, nutrient adequacy, and adiposity status.

Subjects: Children aged 9 to 13 years (n=4,320) and adolescents aged 14 to 18 years (n=5,339).

Design: Cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2006.

Methods: Breakfast consumption was self-reported. A 24-hour dietary recall was used to assess nutrient intakes. Mean adequacy ratio (MAR) for micronutrients and anthropometric indexes were evaluated. Covariate-adjusted sample-weighted means were compared using analysis of variance and Bonferroni's correction for multiple comparisons among breakfast skippers (breakfast skippers), ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal consumers, and other breakfast (other breakfast) consumers.

Results: Twenty percent of children and 31.5% of adolescents were breakfast skippers; 35.9% of children and 25.4% of adolescents consumed RTE cereal. In children/adolescents, RTE cereal consumers had lower intakes of total fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, and several micronutrients (P<0.05 for all) than breakfast skippers and other breakfast consumers. RTE cereal consumers had the highest MAR for micronutrients, and MAR was the lowest for breakfast skippers (P<0.05). In children/adolescents, breakfast skippers had higher body mass index-for-age z scores (P<0.05) and a higher waist circumference (P<0.05) than RTE cereal and other breakfast consumers. Prevalence of obesity (body mass index > or = 95th percentile) was higher in breakfast skippers than RTE cereal consumers (P<0.05) in children/adolescents and was higher in other breakfast consumers than RTE cereal consumers only in adolescents (P<0.05).

Conclusions: RTE cereal consumers had more favorable nutrient intake profiles and adiposity indexes than breakfast skippers or other breakfast consumers in US children/adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anthropometry*
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eating
  • Edible Grain
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage*
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Nutritive Value
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / etiology
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Micronutrients