Poster Abstract| Volume 49, ISSUE 7, SUPPLEMENT 1, S26, July 2017

Differences in Overall Diet Quality in US Children Who Consumed or Skipped Breakfast by Weight Status


      Breakfast consumption has been linked to numerous positive effects in children related to improved dietary quality and obesity prevention. The purpose of this study was to assess differences in dietary patterns between children who consumed breakfast versus those that do not by weight status.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      Dietary intakes of 13- to 18-year-old children (n=4,110) from the 2005-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and were categorized by breakfast consumption.

      Outcome Measures and Analysis

      Dietary intakes were assessed using a 24-hour recall. Breakfast consumption was tallied using self-reported meal identification for foods reported. Diet quality was tabulated using the Healthy Eating Index-2010 score (HEI-2010, 0-100 range). Children's weight status was categorized using BMI-for-age percentiles into normal weight, overweight, and obese classifications.


      Approximately 72% (n=2,870) of children ate breakfast on the day of report. Normal weight children were more likely to eat breakfast (74%) than overweight and obese children (66%, respectively) on the day of intake. Total diet quality was better in children who ate breakfast (HEI-2010: 42.1-43.0) than those who skipped breakfast (HEI-2010: 37.8-39.5) with little differences in HEI-2010 noted by weight status. Children who ate breakfast had better diet quality scores for fruit, whole fruit, whole grains, dairy products, and empty calories, but had lower scores for vegetables, protein foods, fatty acids, and refined grains.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Overall diet quality was better in children who ate breakfast than those that did not, regardless of weight status. Breakfast consumption is related to better dietary patterns and further research is needed to explore the drivers of the intakes that create those differences.