Publication Details

This article was originally published as Williams, PG, Breakfast and the diets of Australian adults: An analysis of data from the 1995 National Nutrition Survey, International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 56(1), 2005, 65-79. Copyright Taylor & Francis 2005. Original journal available here.


The aim of this study was to describe the nutrients provided to Australian adults by the breakfast meal and compare the food and nutrient intakes and health of regular breakfast eaters and skippers. The Australian Bureau of Statistics was commissioned to undertake additional analysis of data collected in the 1995 Australian National Nutrition Survey (NNS). The survey included 24 hour recalls, physical measurements and a food habits questionnaire collected during the period February 1995 to March 1996, with a nationally representative sample of 10851 Australians aged nineteen years and older. The median nutrient intakes at breakfast and the proportion of the daily total contributed by breakfast were calculated. Differences between regular breakfast eaters and breakfast skippers in terms of nutrient intake, BMI and health status were compared using student t-tests. The findings show typical Australian breakfast was low in fat, high in carbohydrate and a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, calcium and magnesium. In the NNS regular breakfast eaters had more adequate diets overall, particularly those aged 65+ years. People who didn't eat breakfast cereal were much more likely to have inadequate nutrient intakes, especially of thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium and iron. Regular breakfast eaters were more likely to rate their health as excellent or good than those who skip breakfast, but there was no difference between the fat intake or the BMI of regular breakfast eaters compared to breakfast skippers. Regular breakfast consumption is associated with better diets for adults overall.



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