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What you eat at breakfast determines the quality of your whole day's nutrition

February 2011

Recommendation – eat breakfast cereal as one way to boost your nutrition

The choices you make at breakfast time can determine the quality of your diet for a whole day according to new research, published in the BNF Nutrition Bulletin(1) and breakfast cereal is shown to be the healthiest choice, as when eaten with milk it provides a great source of calcium and many other nutrients to help meet dietary recommendations.

The study shows that eating breakfast cereal in the morning is associated with much higher intakes of micronutrients, fibre, protein, and carbohydrate and lower intakes of fat, saturated fat, and sugar, compared with skipping breakfast or eating non-cereal breakfasts.

The study involved the analysis of 12,068 food records taken from the data on all foods eaten by respondents in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) at breakfast time (06:00am-10:00am). The NDNS is a nationally representative survey of the diet and health of adults living in Great Britain, involving adults aged 19-64 years-old.

The results also showed that approximately one in five adults consumed no solid food for breakfast, one third ate breakfast cereal, and 45% consumed a non-cereal breakfast.

This new study, adds to the body of evidence that suggests the beneficial impact of breakfast cereal on dietary quality (2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7) and body weight (2)(3)(8).


Notes to editors: For further information contact:
Katie Stray – Katie.stray@nexuspr.com / 020 7052 8859
Alison Gleeson – alison.gleeson@nexuspr.com / 020 7052 8855
Nicky Smith – nicky.smith@nexuspr.com / 020 7052 8850


(1) Gibson, S and Gunn, P, What's for breakfast? Nutritional implications of breakfast habits: insights from the NDNS dietary records. BNF Nutrition Bulletin, 2011. 36, 87-95

(2) Rampersaud, G.C., Benefits of Breakfast for Children and Adolescents: Update and Recommendations for Practitioners. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 2009. 3(2): p. 86-103.

(3) Barton, B.A., et al., The Relationship of breakfast and cereal consumption to nutrient intake and body mass index: the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2005. 105(9): p. 1383.

(4) Ruxton, C.H. and T.R. Kirk, Breakfast: a review of associations with measures of dietary intake, physiology and biochemistry. Br J Nutr, 1997. 78(2): p.199-213

(5) Albertson, A.M., et al., Consumption of breakfast cereal is associated with positive health outcomes: evidence from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Healthy Study. Nutr Res, 2008. 28(11): p. 744-52

(6) Gibson, S.A. and S.K.R.O, Breakfast cereal consumption patterns and nutrient intakes of British schoolchildren. Journal of the Royal Society of Health, 1995. 115(6): p. 366.

(7) Gibson, S., 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 4 to 18 years. Public Health Nutr, 2003. 6(8): p. 815-20

(8) De La Hunty, A. And M. Ashwell, Are people who regularly eat breakfast cereals slimmer than those who don't? A systematic review of the evidence. Nutrition Bulletin, 2007. 32(2): p.118.