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Eating breakfast cereals boosts nutrition

2nd September 2011


New study confirms importance of eating breakfast cereals among people on low incomes

A new study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (EJCN)(1) has shown that breakfast cereals provide a great source of vitamins and minerals to people on low incomes in the UK, helping to meet dietary recommendations.

The researchers from King’s College London investigated the contribution that breakfast cereals make to the nutrient intake of people on low incomes. They analysed data from 3,728 participants aged two years and over from the UK Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey (LIDNS) and compared the nutrient intakes of people who consumed breakfast cereals with those who did not.

The results showed that people who ate breakfast cereals had higher intakes of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, riboflavin and folate, than those who did not eat breakfast cereals. Overall, among those people who ate wholegrain and high fibre breakfast cereals, there was a higher intake of dietary fibre. Furthermore, eating breakfast cereals was related to higher calcium consumption, mainly due to being the only meal of the day that is eaten with milk.

Commenting on the research, Breakfast Cereal Information Service (BCIS) notes: “This study provides yet more evidence of the importance of eating breakfast cereal to contribute to your nutritional intake, particularly among people on low incomes. Many other studies show the valuable contribution breakfast cereals make to our diets, adding numerous vitamins and minerals including calcium (25-30%), many of which, according to government data, are very short in people’s daily diets(2),(3),(4),(5),(6).”

New government data(7) recently also showed teenage girls are risking their health by consuming low levels of vitamins and minerals, including iron. This study, along with other research illustrates, eating breakfast cereals can help increase nutrient intakes.

Overall, this study demonstrated the benefits of eating breakfast cereals to obtain a higher intake of vitamins and minerals for people on low incomes. It is therefore important not only to have breakfast but to eat nutrient-rich breakfast cereals.

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For further information on the health benefits of breakfast cereals and ACFM positioning, visit www.breakfastcereal.org or contact: Katie Stray on 020 7052 8859 (katie.stray@nexuspr.com)


(1) Holmes, BA, Kaffa, N, Campbell, K, Sanders T A B. The contribution of breakfast cereals to the nutritional intake of the materially deprived UK population. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 10 August 2011.

(2) Henderson et al (2003): National Diet and Nutrition Survey: adults aged 19-64 years.

(3) Preziosi P et al (1999) Breakfast type, daily nutrient intakes and vitamin and mineral status of French children, adolescents and adults. J Am Coll Nutr 18:171-8.

(4) Gibson S (2003) Micronutrient intakes, micronutrient status and lipid profiles among young people consuming different amounts of breakfast cereals: further analysis of data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of young people aged 14 to 18 years. Public Health Nutrition 6:815-820.

(5) Galvin MA et al (2003) Impact of ready-to-eat breakfast cereal consumption on adequacy of micronutrient intakes and compliance with dietary recommendations in Irish Adults. Public Health Nutrition 6:351-363.

(6) Serra-Majem L (2001) Vitamin and mineral intakes in European children. Is food fortification needed? Public Health Nutrition 2001 4(1A):101-107.

(7) B Bates, A Lennox, C Bates, G Swan. National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Headline results from Years 1 and 2 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2008/2009 – 2009/10). Department of Health and Food Standards Agency.