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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;68(7):829-34. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.88. Epub 2014 May 21.

No breakfast at home: association with cardiovascular disease risk factors in childhood.

Author information

  • 1Research and Education Institute of Child Health, Nicosia, Cyprus.
  • 2Faculty of Medicine University of Crete, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital, Heraklion Crete, Greece.
  • 3Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology-BIPS GmbH, Bremen, Germany.
  • 4Laboratory of Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo NEUROMED, Pozzilli, Italy.
  • 5Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • 6National Institute for Health Development, Tallinn, Estonia.
  • 7Department of Pediatrics, Medical Faculty, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary.
  • 8Epidemiology & Population Genetics, Institute of Food Sciences, CNR, Avellino, Italy.
  • 9Department of Public Heath faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
  • 10Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development Research Group, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.



Limited data exist regarding breakfast consumption and its association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. This study investigates the relationship between breakfast routine and CVD risk factors in a multinational sample.


Cross-sectional data from eight European countries participating in the IDEFICS (Identification and prevention of dietary- and lifestyle-induced health effects in children and infants) survey (2007-2008) were used. The sample included ;children 2 to <10 years of age (n=8863, 51.2% boys). The Mann-Whitney ;U-test and logistic regression were used to assess CVD risk factors ;among ;no breakfast (NBrH), occasional breakfast and daily breakfast at home (DBrH) consumption.


Male school-aged NBrH consumers, ;compared with ;DBrH consumers, ;were more likely to be overweight/obese (odds ratio (OR): 1.37, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.05-1.79), to have higher risk for high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels lower than 40 mg/dl (OR: 1.69, 95% CI=1.24-2.30), triglycerides (TG) above 75 mg/dl (OR: 1.65, 95% CI=1.24-2.19) and sum of skinfolds greater than the 90th percentile (OR: 1.32, 95% CI=1.0-1.76). Female school-aged NBrH consumers ;compared with ;DBrH consumers ;had a higher risk for waist circumference greater than the 90th percentile (OR: 1.70, 95% CI=1.14-2.51), HDL cholesterol levels lower than 40 mg/dl (OR: 1.65, 95% CI=1.23-2.21), TG above 75 mg/dl (OR: 1.65, 95% CI=1.26-2.17) and total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio >3.5 (OR: 1.39, 95% CI=1.09-1.77). RESULTS remained significant after adjusting for daily physical activity in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) periods (in min/day). Male DBrH consumers, 6 to <10 years of age, had longer daily periods of MVPA compared with ;NBrH consumers ;(32.0±21.4 vs 27.5±18.8, P<0.05). For preschoolers, breakfast consumption was negatively associated with ;CVD risk factors but results of regression models were mostly insignificant.


Daily breakfast consumption contributes to controlling school-aged children's weight ;and lipid profile and promotes higher PA.

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