Skipping breakfast and overweight in 2- and 5-year-old Dutch children-the GECKO Drenthe cohort

Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Apr;38(4):569-71. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2013.194. Epub 2013 Oct 25.


Skipping breakfast is associated with higher BMI in children aged 5 years and older. However, not much is known about this association in younger children. In the Dutch GECKO Drenthe birth cohort we examined the association between breakfast skipping and objectively measured overweight at the age of 2 (n=1488) and 5 (n=1366) years. At 2 years, 124 (8.3%) children were overweight and 44 (3.0%) did not eat breakfast daily. At 5 years, 180 (13.2%) children were overweight and 73 (5.3%) did not eat breakfast daily. Children belonging to families of non-Dutch origin, those with lower educated parents and those with single parents skipped breakfast more often. Breakfast skipping in 2- and 5-year-olds is rare in the Netherlands. We found no association between skipping breakfast and overweight, neither at age 2 (odds ratio (OR): 1.85 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.61-5.64)) nor at age 5 (OR: 0.46 (95% CI: 0.19-1.11)). Also the type of breakfast was not related to overweight at 5 years. An explanation for this finding might be that skipping breakfast is not (yet) an issue in these children.

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Breakfast*
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Odds Ratio
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / etiology
  • Parenting*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires