Carried out by researchers at the University of Missouri, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Washburn University, the new large-scale study included 12,642 students across the USA who were asked to record how often they ate breakfast, how often they ate meals with a parent, and their eating habits in general.
The findings, published in the journal Social Work in Public Health, showed that just over 50% of students reported eating breakfast five days a week, and more than 30% reported eating breakfast less than five times a week.
“We know that developing healthy behaviours in adolescence such as eating breakfast every day and eating family meals can have long-term effects into adulthood,” said study author Virginia Ramseyer Winter.
“Children and adolescents are under a lot of pressure from social media and pop culture when it comes to physical appearance. Having a healthy relationship with food from eating breakfast and spending meal time with family might have a significant impact on well-being.”
“We know that the health behaviors of a parent can have long-term effects on a child,” adds Ramseyer Winter. “Results of this study suggest that positive interactions with food – such as eating breakfast and having family meals together – could be associated with body image.”