Objective: The main objective was to assess the relationship of breakfast skipping, television (TV) viewing at breakfast and breakfast without TV with weight status among parents of 10-12-year-olds in eight European countries.
Design: A cross-sectional survey assessed breakfast eating and TV viewing at breakfast by three frequency questions and parents were categorized into: (i) breakfast skippers; (ii) breakfast with TV (TV watchers at breakfast); and (iii) breakfast without TV (breakfast eaters who do not watch TV during breakfast). Self-reported weight and height were used to categorize weight status as underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted with weight status as the dependent variable and breakfast habits as predictors, adjusting for sex, ethnicity and level of education.
Setting: The survey was conducted in 2010 in 199 primary schools across eight European countries participating in the ENERGY (EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth) cross-sectional study.
Subjects: Parents (n 6512) of 10-12-year-olds responded to the questionnaire.
Results: In the total study sample, with breakfast without TV as the reference group and adjusting for sex, ethnicity and level of education, the OR of being respectively overweight or obese (compared with normal weight) was 1.2 (95% CI 1.0, 1.4) or 1.8 (95% CI 1.5, 2.3) for breakfast skippers. The OR of being respectively underweight or obese was 0.5 (95% CI 0.2, 0.9) or 1.4 (95% CI 1.1, 1.8) for breakfast with TV.
Conclusions: Breakfast skippers were significantly more likely to be overweight and obese, and those eating breakfast while watching TV were significantly more likely to be obese and less likely to be underweight.