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J Nutr. 2013 Nov;143(11):1774-84. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.181396. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Health, behavioral, cognitive, and social correlates of breakfast skipping among women living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

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Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia.


Breakfast skipping is a potentially modifiable behavior that has negative effects on health and is socioeconomically patterned. This study aimed to examine the intrapersonal (health, behavioral, and cognitive) and social factors associated with breakfast skipping. Nonpregnant women (n = 4123) aged 18-45 y from socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout Victoria, Australia, completed a postal questionnaire. Sociodemographic characteristics, diet, physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and cognitive and social factors were assessed by self-report. Breakfast skipping was defined in 2 ways: 1) "rarely/never" eating breakfast (n = 498) and 2) eating breakfast ≤2 d/wk (includes those who rarely/never ate breakfast; n = 865). Poisson regression was used to calculate prevalence ratios and linear trends, adjusting for covariates. The P values for linear trends are reported below. Compared with breakfast consumers, women who reported rarely/never eating breakfast tended to have poorer self-rated health (P-trend < 0.001), be current smokers (P-trend < 0.001), pay less attention to health (P-trend < 0.001), not prioritize their own healthy eating when busy looking after their family (P-trend < 0.001), have less nutrition knowledge (P-trend < 0.001), and a lower proportion were trying to control their weight (P-trend < 0.020). When breakfast skipping was defined as eating breakfast ≤2 d/wk, additional associations were found for having lower leisure-time physical activity (P-trend = 0.012) and less self-efficacy for eating a healthy diet (P-trend < 0.043). In conclusion, a range of intrapersonal and social factors were significantly associated with breakfast skipping among women living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. Acknowledging the cross-sectional design and need for causal confirmation, programs that aim to promote breakfast consumption in this population group should consider targeting family-related barriers to healthy eating and nutrition knowledge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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