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PIA Press Release
2009/10/13

Feature: Breakfast is still most important meal of the day

by Mildred O. Guirindola

Butuan City (13 October) -- "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is an old cliché known to many of us. To better understand, let us take a look what is behind this idea.

By the name itself, we need to eat breakfast to break the fast. Our bodies need to refuel for the day ahead after going without food for 8 to 12 hours during sleep.

It is a known fact that in general, kids who eat breakfast have more energy, do better in school, and eat healthier throughout the day. Skipping breakfast, on the other hand, can make kids feel tired, restless, or irritable. The same holds true for adults.

In connection with this, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) conducted a study to find out the knowledge, attitude and behavior (KAB) and the factors that affect the adolescents' KAB on eating breakfast using a questionnaire. The respondents of the study were 658 randomly selected high school students from two public and two private selected high schools in Metro Manila.

Findings of the study showed that around half of the students from public schools (50%) and 48% from private schools had medium level of knowledge on eating breakfast. The study also revealed that the rate of taking breakfast among students in the public school was not significantly different from those in the private school.

Majority of the students (98.2%) reportedly took breakfast. More than half of the students skipped breakfast at least once a week. The primary reason for non-breakfast eaters and breakfast skippers was "lack of time".

When eating out, the students themselves decided where and what to eat. Students from public schools ate breakfast at the school canteen while students from private school preferred convenience store or fast food as their venue for eating out.

Interestingly, more students notably took breakfast when it was the mother who prepared it. This association was significant only in the public school.

The results of the study showed that much can be done to improve the KAB of students on eating breakfast. There is urgency in improving the knowledge level of adolescents regarding the importance of breakfast as well as that of the mothers who usually prepare the breakfast. Advocacy should also cover regulations for school canteens and fast food outlets regarding the provision of healthier food choices in the menu and compliance to good quality and safety standards.

For more information about food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City. Email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com; Tel/Fax: 837-2934, 837-3164, 837-2071 local 2296; or visit our website at: http//www.fnri.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service) [top]

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