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Appetite. 2013 Jan;60(1):51-57. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.09.024. Epub 2012 Sep 29.

Breakfast habits, beliefs and measures of health and wellbeing in a nationally representative UK sample.

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Department of Life Sciences, University of Roehampton, Holybourne Avenue, London SW15 4JD, UK. Electronic address:
Department of Life Sciences, University of Roehampton, Holybourne Avenue, London SW15 4JD, UK.
Centre for Health & Wellbeing Research, University of Northampton, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL, UK.


The aim of this study was to report UK adult breakfasting habits, beliefs and the relationship of both with measures of personality, health and wellbeing including physical activity and body mass index (BMI). A nationally representative sample of 1068 adults completed a web-based survey, combining standardised scales and self-designed questionnaire statements. Sixty-four percent of respondents consumed breakfast daily whilst 6% never ate breakfast. Breakfasting frequency was found to correlate with conscientiousness, wellbeing and age and general health. The survey found that breakfast eaters strongly believe that breakfast helps weight control and weight loss. Breakfast eaters were more likely to partake in vigorous exercise, although there was no significant difference in BMI. Multi-variate analysis identified conscientiousness, cognitive restraint and age as making unique contributions to predicting breakfast frequency. This study provides further support for the view that breakfast eating is likely to be a proxy-variable for a healthy lifestyle. The role of breakfast and related beliefs should be taken into consideration in breakfast behaviour research, interventions and health and wellbeing campaigns.

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