Breakfast as a king...

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Breakfast, Nutrition

In light of the great British artery-clogging breakfast tradition,
the UK cereals trade industry this week celebrates the health
benefits of the first meal of the day, spinning a refreshed version
on this all time favourite.

 

But they have their work cut out. According to the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA), Britain is still a nation of enthusiastic breakfast eaters - 64 per cent of people say they prefer to start the day with bacon, sausage and egg and 29 per cent love porridge or muesli. By contrast only 7 per cent say they are happy with just a cup of coffee.

Farmhouse Breakfast Week, sponsored by the HGCA, Food from Britain and the MLC (Meat and Livestock Commission), aims to encourage more consumers to eat a healthy breakfast, "instead of snacking on chocolate or crisps later in the morning,"​ said Therese Coleman, at the HGCA.

As part of the event, the grains authority has teamed up with the UK institute CDR to carry out online research looking at the effect of breakfast on school children. The study will be partnered with a similar online survey for adults.

"Although it is widely accepted that there are links between breakfast and our mood, physical and mental performance, this is the first time a survey of this magnitude has been conducted,"​ said the HGCA. More than 11,000 schools throughout the UK are being invited to log on to the study every weekday before 11am.

UK Schools Minister Stephen Twigg, commented: "It's extremely important to have a good, healthy breakfast. We want healthy living to be a fundamental part of school life and this campaign ties in well with our work making sure children learn about the importance of food in diet and regular meals."

Previous research indicates that people who skip breakfast are more likely to suffer from poor concentration, mood swings, and impaired physical performance.

Rebecca Geraghty of HGCA said the study was being launched because of growing public concern about the quality of children's diets and the increasing rates of childhood obesity and type-2 diabetes.

"The aim is to establish to what degree skipping breakfast affects our mental performance. Are children who start school on an empty stomach putting themselves at a disadvantage? Is their ability to learn and participate in the classroom better if they have had a healthy breakfast? We hope this will get a proper healthy, balanced breakfast back on the menu."

Nutritionist Fiona Hunter added : "A healthy balanced breakfast, rich in whole grains and low in sugar, is the best way to kick-start your mind and body at the start of the day. Bread and cereals are excellent sources of a huge range of essential nutrients, including the B vitamins, folic acid, calcium, iron and fibre. Whole grains have many positive health benefits, yet one-third of adults in the UK don't include any in their diet."

Trends suggest that fewer and fewer people - both adults and children - are actually making the time for breakfast, and either skipping it all together or eating things like crisps and confectionary on the way to school or work.

Related topics: Science

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