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Appetite. 2009 Feb;52(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2008.08.006. Epub 2008 Aug 22.

Family correlates of breakfast consumption among children and adolescents. A systematic review.

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School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, United Kingdom.


Regular breakfast consumption can have a multitude of positive health benefits, yet young people are more likely to skip breakfast than any other meal. Given the evidence that dietary behaviours established in childhood and adolescence track into adulthood along with evidence that breakfast skipping increases with age, identifying correlates of children's and adolescent's breakfast behaviours is imperative. The family environment is an important influence on the dietary behaviours of young people, and therefore we systematically reviewed the literature on family correlates of children and adolescent's breakfast consumption. From the 24 papers reviewed, 6 studied children and 19 studied adolescents. Few studies have examined the same specific family correlates of breakfast consumption, limiting the possibilities of drawing strong or consistent conclusions. Research in this area is relatively new and this review has identified areas for further investigation. Parental breakfast eating and living in two-parent families were the correlates supported by the greatest amount of evidence in association with adolescent's breakfast consumption. The results suggest that parents should be encouraged to be positive role models to their children by targeting their own dietary behaviours and that family structure should be considered when designing programmes to promote healthy breakfast behaviours.

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