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Appetite. 2011 Jun;56(3):649-57. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.02.019. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Breakfast habits and factors influencing food choices at breakfast in relation to socio-demographic and family factors among European adolescents. The HELENA Study.

Author information

1
School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Mälardalens University, Västerås, Sweden. lena.hallstrom@mdh.se

Abstract

Breakfast consumption has been shown to be an important indicator of a healthy lifestyle. Little is known however about factors influencing breakfast consumption and food choices at breakfast in adolescents. The aim of the present study was therefore to describe breakfast habits, and factors influencing food choices at breakfast within the framework of the EU-funded HELENA Study, in 3528 adolescents from ten European cities. Additionally, socio-demographic differences in breakfast habits and in influencing factors were investigated. Half of the adolescents (and fewer girls than boys) indicated being regular breakfast consumers. Girls with mothers with a high level of education, boys from 'traditional' families and boys who perceived low family affluence were positively associated with breakfast consumption. Boys whose parents gave encouragement and girls whose peers ate healthily were more likely to be regular breakfast consumers. 'Hunger', 'taste', 'health concerns' and 'parents or guardian' were the most important influences on the adolescents' food choices at breakfast. Adolescents from southern Europe and girls reported to be more influenced by personal and socio-environmental factors. Socio-demographic differences, in particular regional and gender differences, need to be considered in discussions surrounding the development of nutritional intervention programs intended for adolescents.

PMID:
21376767
DOI:
10.1016/j.appet.2011.02.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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