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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


DIAZ, Toni; FICAPA-CUSI, Pilar  and  AGUILAR-MARTINEZ, Alicia. Breakfast habits in primary and secondary schoolchildren: options for nutritional education in schools. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2016, vol.33, n.4, pp.909-914. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: Despite the nutritional importance of breakfast for development and its association with better learning and academic performance, numerous studies highlight the fact that in many cases this meal is skipped or consists of unsuitable food. Objective: The aim is to determine the quality of breakfast of schoolchildren aged 10 to 16 in order to determine when the best time would be to introduce educational programmes on the importance of this meal and how to improve its quality. Methods: Observational, descriptive cross-sectional study based on a questionnaire consisting of closed questions on the breakfast habits of primary and secondary schoolchildren. Results: Only 18.5% of schoolchildren have a quality breakfast. The poor quality of this meal increases with each academic year and is associated with the fact of having breakfast alone. At both stages of education the foods most frequently consumed at home are dairy products and cereals, while those who breakfast at school are more likely to have a sandwich. However, differences are observed between primary and secondary level in regard to the consumption of fruit and sugary drinks, amongst others. Conclusion: It would be interesting to assess the introduction of school breakfast programmes that include not only primary schoolchildren but also, and especially, adolescents, as a greater number in this group tend to skip breakfast. Interventions should be aimed at correcting the most common deviations observed at each stage of education.

Keywords : Food habits; Nutritional education; Adolescents.

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