Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Breakfast skipping and health-compromising behaviors in adolescents and adults

Abstract

Objective: To investigate which sociodemographic factors and behaviors are associated with breakfast skipping in adolescents and adults.

Design: Five birth cohorts of adolescent twins and their parents received an extensive behavioral and medical self-report questionnaire that also assessed breakfast-eating frequency.

Setting: Finland, 1991–1995.

Subjects: A population sample of 16-y-old girls and boys (n=5448) and their parents (n=4660).

Results: Parental breakfast eating was the statistically most significant factor associated with adolescent breakfast eating. Smoking, infrequent exercise, a low education level at 16, female sex, frequent alcohol use, behavioral disinhibition, and high body mass index (BMI) were significantly associated with adolescent breakfast skipping. In adults, smoking, infrequent exercise, low education level, male sex, higher BMI, and more frequent alcohol use were associated with breakfast skipping. In the adult sample, older individuals had breakfast more often than younger ones. Both adults and adolescents who frequently skipped breakfast were much more likely to exercise very little compared to those who skipped breakfast infrequently. Breakfast skipping was associated with low family socioeconomic status in adults and adolescent boys, but not in girls. Breakfast skipping clustered moderately with smoking, alcohol use, and sedentary lifestyle in both adults and adolescents.

Conclusions: Breakfast skipping is associated with health-compromising behaviors in adults and adolescents. Individuals and families who skip breakfast may benefit from preventive efforts that also address risk behaviors other than eating patterns.

Sponsorship: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA08315), Academy of Finland (44069), European Union Fifth Framework Program (QLRT-1999-00916), Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, and Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  • Aarnio M, Kujala UM & Kaprio J (1997): Associations of health-related behaviors, school type and health status to physical activity patterns in 16 year old boys and girls. Scand. J. Soc. Med. 25, 156–167

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Abraham S & O'Dea JA . (2001): Body mass index, menarche, and perception of dieting among peripubertal adolescent females. Int. J. Eat. Disord. 29, 23–28.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Baumert Jr PW, Henderson JM & Thompson NJ (1998): Health risk behaviors of adolescent participants in organized sports. J. Adolesc. Health 22, 460–465.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bellisle F, Monneuse MO, Steptoe A & Wardle J (1995): Weight concerns and eating patterns: a survey of university students in Europe. Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 19, 723–730.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Bergström E, Hernell O & Persson LA (1996): Cardiovascular risk indicators cluster in girls from families of low socio-economic status. Acta Paediatr. 85, 1083–1090.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brugman E, Meulmeester JF, Spee-van der Wekke A & Verloove-Vanhorick SP (1998): Breakfast-skipping in children and young adolescents in The Netherlands. Eur. J. Public Health 8, 325–328.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cavadini C, Decarli B, Grin J, Narring F & Michaud PA (2000): Food habits and sport activity during adolescence: differences between athletic and non-athletic teenagers in Switzerland. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 54 (Suppl 1), S16–S20.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dick DM, Rose RJ, Viken RJ & Kaprio J (2000): Pubertal timing and substance use: associations between and within families across late adolescence. Dev. Psychol. 36, 180–189.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Giacchi M, Mattei R & Rossi S (1998). Correction of the self-reported BMI in a teenage population. Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 2, 673–677.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Himes JH & Faricy A (2001). Validity and reliability of self-reported stature and weight of US adolescents. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 13, 255–260.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hosmer DW & Lemeshow S (2000): Polychotomous independent variable. In Applied Logistic Regression, 2nd Edition, pp 56–62 New York: Wiley.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Höglund D, Samuelson G & Mark A (1998): Food habits in Swedish adolescents in relation to socioeconomic conditions. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 52, 784–789.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Isralowitz RE & Trostler N (1996): Substance use: toward an understanding of its relation to nutrition-related attitudes and behavior among Israeli high school youth. J. Adolesc. Health 19, 184–189.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kaltiala-Heino R, Rimpelä M, Rissanen A, &, Rantanen P (2001): Early puberty and early sexual activity are associated with bulimic-type eating pathology in middle adolescence. J. Adolesc. Health 28, 346–352.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Keski-Rahkonen A, Kaprio J, Viken RJ, Rissanen A & Rose RJ (in press): Genetic and environmental factors in breakfast eating patterns. Behav. Genet.

  • Kuczmarski MF, Kuczmarski RJ & Najjar M (2001): Effects of age on validity of self-reported height, weight, and body mass index: findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1994. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 101, 28–34.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kuskowska-Wolk A, Karlsson P, Stolt M & Rössner S (1989): The predictive validity of body mass index based on self-reported weight and height. Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 13, 441–453.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Melve KK & Baerheim A (1994): Signs of subclinical eating disorders in teenage girls. Scand. J. Prim. Health Care 12, 197–203.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Neumark-Sztainer D, Story M, Toporoff E, Himes JH, Resnick MD & Blum RW (1997): Covariations of eating behaviors with other health-related behaviors among adolescents. J. Adolesc. Health 20, 450–458.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nordlund G & Jacobson T (1999): Gymnasieelevernas matvanor relaterat till hur de ma˚r och känner sig, deras fysiska aktivitet, deras skolprestationer ock sociala bakgrund [High school students’ food habits in relation to their well-being, physical activity, school performance and social background; in Swedish]. Pedagogiska rapporter, Vol 58, Umea˚: Umea˚ Universitetet.

    Google Scholar 

  • O'Dea JA & Caputi P (2001): Association between socioeconomic status, weight, age and gender, and the body image and weight control practices of 6- to 19-year-old children and adolescents. Health Educ. Res. 16, 521–532.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pastore DR, Fisher M & Friedman SB (1996): Abnormalities in weight status, eating attitudes, and eating behaviors among urban high school students: correlations with self-esteem and anxiety. J. Adolesc. Health 18, 312–319.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Puska P & Smolander A (1980): Suomalaisen aikuisväestön terveyskäyttäytyminen, kevät 1980 [The health habits of Finnish adults, spring 1980; in Finnish]. Kansanterveystieteen laitoksen julkaisuja, B1.

  • Rao JNK & Scott AJ (1984): On chi-squared tests for multiway contingency tables with cell proportions estimated from survey data. Ann. Stat. 12, 46–60.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Revicki D, Sobal J & DeForge B (1991): Smoking status and the practice of other unhealthy behaviors. Fam. Med. 23, 361–364.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Rose RJ, Dick DM, Viken RJ, Pulkkinen L & Kaprio J (2001): Drinking and abstaining at age 14? A genetic epidemiological study. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 25, 1594–1604.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rose RJ, Kaprio J, Winter T, Koskenvuo M, &, Viken RJ (1999): Familial and socioregional environmental effects on abstinence from alcohol at age sixteen. J. Stud. Alcohol Suppl. 13, 63–74.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rowland ML (1990): Self-reported weight and height. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 52, 1125–1133.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • SAS System for Windows (1999): Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc.

  • Serra Majem L, Manno S, Ribas Barba L, Perez Rodrigo C, &, Aranceta Bartrina J (2000): Desayuno y obesidad [Breakfast and obesity; in Spanish]. In: Desayuno y equilibrio alimentario: Estudio enKid, eds. L Serra Majem & J Aranceta Bartrina, pp 31–44. Barcelona: Masson.

  • Shaw ME (1998): Adolescent breakfast skipping: an Australian study. Adolescence 33, 851–861.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sosioekonomisen aseman luokitus 1989 (1990): [The classification of socioeconomic status, 1989; in Finnish]. Käsikirjoja Vol 17. Helsinki: Tilastokeskus.

  • Stata, Version. 7.0 (2000) College Station, TX: Stata Corporation.

  • Terre L, Drabman RS & Meydrech EF (1990): Relationships among children's health-related behaviors: a multivariate, developmental perspective. Prev. Med. 19, 134–146.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Urho U-M & Hasunen K (1999): Yläasteen kouluruokailu 1998 [School meals in junior high school in 1998; in Finnish]. Sosiaali- ja terveysministeriön selvityksiä 5.

  • Walker A, Walker B, Jones J & Ncongwane J (1982): Breakfast habits of adolescents in four South African populations. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 36, 650–656.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wilson DM, Killen JD, Hayward C, Robinson TN, Hammer LD, Kraemer HC, Varady A & Taylor CB (1994): Timing and rate of sexual maturation and the onset of cigarette and alcohol use among teenage girls. Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 148, 789–795.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wolfe WS, Campbell CC, Frongillo Jr EA, Haas JD & Melnik TA (1994): Overweight schoolchildren in New York State: prevalence and characteristcs. Am. J. Public Health 84, 807–813.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zuckerman M (1979): Sensation Seeking: Beyond the Optimal Level of Arousal. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Guarantors: A Keski-Rahkonen and J Kaprio.

Contributors: AKR and JK were responsible for the study design, data analysis, and interpretation of results. A Rissanen, M Virkkunen, and RJ Rose contributed to the design of the study. RJ Rose and J Kaprio were responsible for the study data collection. All authors were involved in writing the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to A Keski-Rahkonen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Keski-Rahkonen, A., Kaprio, J., Rissanen, A. et al. Breakfast skipping and health-compromising behaviors in adolescents and adults. Eur J Clin Nutr 57, 842–853 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601618

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601618

Keywords

  • breakfast
  • smoking
  • exercise
  • adolescence
  • nutrition
  • Finland

This article is cited by

Search

Quick links