Publication Details

This article was originally published as: Williams, P, What Australians eat for breakfast: an analysis of data from the 1995 National Nutrition Survey, Nutrition and Dietetics, 2002, 59(2),103-112. The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com. Nutrition & Dietetics is the official journal of the Dietitians Association of Australia. Copyright 2002 Blackwell Publishing.


Objective To analyse data on the patterns of food consumption at breakfast reported in the 1995 National Nutrition Survey.

Design The Australian Bureau of Statistics was commissioned to undertake additional analysis of data on food intake collected using 24-hour recall interviews, a food frequency questionnaire and a food habits questionnaire.

Subjects Nationally representative sample of 13 858 Australians, from age 2 years, surveyed in the 1995 National Nutrition Survey.

Main outcome measures Percentage of people eating breakfast regularly, mean amount of food groups consumed at breakfast, the percentage of respondents consuming each food item, and the mean serve sizes.

Statistical analyses Data are presented as frequencies and mean intakes. Pearson’s chi-square tests were used for comparisons.

Results People on special diets, those taking vitamin or mineral supplements, and people in the lowest quintile of household income were more likely to eat breakfast regularly. Breakfast was mostly eaten at home, although 15% of 19-24 year olds obtained breakfast away from home. Cereals, bread and milk were the most popular breakfast foods and less than 10% of Australians ate a cooked breakfast. Sugar added to cereals contributed less than 2% of the total sugar intake over the day in all age groups.

Conclusion The high proportion of adolescents and young adults who miss breakfast regularly is of concern. There is an opportunity to increase fruit intake by promoting its consumption at the breakfast occasion.