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Health Promot Pract. 2017 Nov;18(6):862-868. doi: 10.1177/1524839917711123. Epub 2017 Jun 4.

Increasing Social Support for Breakfast: Project BreakFAST.

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1 St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN, USA.
2 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, USA.


High school students in the United States are known to be frequent skippers of breakfast. Social support is one key element needed to encourage adolescents to consume school breakfast. This article presents an analysis of the influence of a school policy and environment change intervention on the social support of adolescents to eat breakfast.


The intervention included school policy changes in 16 schools randomized to intervention and delayed-intervention conditions, in order to allow quick and easy access to breakfast as well as to allow breakfast consumption in classrooms and hallways; a School Breakfast Program marketing campaign to address normative and attitudinal beliefs; and increasing social support and role modeling to encourage breakfast eating. The participants in the study completed an online survey at baseline and again postintervention.


The final analysis included only students who completed the relevant survey (n = 904) items on both the baseline and follow-up surveys. The students in the intervention group showed a higher level of social support post intervention than the control group with a significant adjusted p of .02. Most of the overall social support change was explained by a change in the "other kids at my school" and "other school staff" categories.


The BreakFAST study shows the benefits of school staff and kids other than friends supporting a behavior change to include breakfast consumption in adolescents.


adolescent; barriers; rural; school breakfast; social support

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