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J Sch Nurs. 2005 Apr;21(2):100-5.

The breakfast-eating habits of inner city high school students.

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  • 1San Diego State University School of Nursing, San Diego, CA, USA.


This cross-sectional, descriptive correlational research study describes the breakfast-eating habits of 846 inner-city high school students. Fifty-seven percent of students reported skipping breakfast on the day of the survey, despite the free hot-breakfast program at their high school. Significantly more girls than boys skipped breakfast, and 10th grade students had the highest rate of skipping breakfast. Sixty-four percent of breakfast-skippers cited a lack of time, and 28% stated they could not eat early in the morning. More breakfast eaters reported eating at home (48%); only 14% reported eating at school, with 3% reportedly eating both at home and school. Milk, orange juice, cereal, and foods in the bread group were the most frequently eaten foods. Patterns of eating by gender and by grade level are discussed in this article, as are implications for school nursing, including assessment, teaching, and research. It is important to educate students and parents about the importance of eating breakfast, because it provides an important part of a student's daily intake of nutrients needed for energy, growth, and learning.

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