More than a quarter of British adults (26%) skip breakfast at least four times a week, most often among younger adults aged 18-24. In this age group, 29% skip breakfast four times a week or more, and more than half (54%) skip breakfast at least once a week, compared to 43% across age groups.
Canadean said that despite research consistently linking breakfast-skipping with higher body mass, risk of obesity, and most recently heart disease, 12% of those who skipped breakfast said they did so in order to lose weight.
“Such attitudes can mean that prevailing levels of obesity in the UK will continue to rise,” the market research organization said.
The most common reason given for skipping breakfast was not being hungry in the morning, given by 49% of respondents, followed by not having enough time (26%).
Even among those who do eat breakfast, a perceived lack of time in the morning means that 15% eat breakfast at work and 3% say they eat breakfast on the go in order to combine it with other activities. Nine per cent relied on cereal bars in the morning.
More than half (55%) said they spent less than five minutes making breakfast, with cereal the top choice, consumed regularly by 65% of consumers, followed by toast (42%).
Research manager at Canadean Custom Solutions Michael Hughes said: “Consumers are trying to cram as many activities as possible in to the day, and this is impacting breakfast occasions. This is a result of changing eating patterns meaning they are not hungry in the morning or they simply do not have time to prepare breakfast.”