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Breakfast: A Missed Opportunity

      Breakfast has earned the title as the most important meal of the day, yet it is the meal most often missed. This statement is supported by research that has shown an association between breakfast consumption and overall nutritional quality of the diets of children and adolescents (
      • Nicklas T.A.
      • Bao W.
      • Webber L.S.
      • Berenson G.S.
      Breakfast consumption affects adequacy of total daily intake.
      ,
      • Nicklas T.A.
      • O’Neil C.E.
      • Berenson G.S.
      Nutrient contribution of breakfast, secular trends, and the role of ready-to-eat cereals: A review of data from the Bogalusa Heart Study.
      ,
      • Ruxton C.H.
      • Kirk T.R.
      Breakfast: A review of associations with measures of dietary intake, physiology, and biochemistry.
      ,
      • Basiotis P.
      • Lino M.
      • Anand R.
      Eating breakfast greatly improves schoolchildren’s diet quality.
      ,
      • Nicklas T.A.
      • Reger C.
      • Myers L.
      • O’Neil C.
      Breakfast consumption with and without vitamin-mineral supplement use favorably impacts daily nutrient intake of ninth-grade students.
      ,
      • Sjoberg A.
      • Hallberg L.
      • Hoglund D.
      • Hulthen L.
      Meal pattern, food choice, nutrient intake and lifestyle factors in the Goteborg Adolescence Study.
      ,
      • Rampersaud G.C.
      • Pereira M.A.
      • Girand B.L.
      • Adams J.
      • Metzl J.
      Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents.
      ), and national data that document a decline in breakfast consumption by youth in the United States (
      • Siega-Riz A.M.
      • Popkin B.M.
      • Carson T.
      Trends in breakfast consumption for children in the United States from 1965 to 1991.
      ). Moreover, relative to its energy contribution, breakfast provides a higher percentage of micronutrients than other meals consumed during the day (
      • Gleason P.
      • Suitor C.
      ). In addition to being a marker for an appropriate micronutrient and macronutrient intake pattern (
      • Ruxton C.H.
      • Kirk T.R.
      Breakfast: A review of associations with measures of dietary intake, physiology, and biochemistry.
      ), regularity in breakfast consumption has been linked with improvement in academic performance and psychosocial functioning (
      • Kleinman R.E.
      • Hall S.
      • Green H.
      • Korzec-Ramirez D.
      • Patton K.
      • Pagano M.E.
      • Murphy J.M.
      Diet, breakfast, and academic performance in children.
      ) as well as cognition (
      • Pollitt E.
      • Mathews R.
      Breakfast and cognition: An integrative summary.
      ) among children. Furthermore, breakfast consumption is considered an important determinant of a healthful lifestyle (
      • Siega-Riz A.M.
      • Popkin B.M.
      • Carson T.
      Differences in food patterns at breakfast by sociodemographic characteristics among a nationally representative sample of adults in the United States.
      ), and its association with healthful behaviors may favorably influence body mass index (BMI) (
      • Affenito S.G.
      • Thompson D.R.
      • Barton B.A.
      • Franko D.L.
      • Daniels S.R.
      • Obarzanek E.
      • Schreiber G.B.
      • Striegel-Moore R.H.
      Breakfast consumption by African-American and white adolescent girls correlates positively with calcium and fiber intake and negatively with body mass index.
      ).
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      Biography

      S. G. Affenito is an associate professor, Department of Nutrition, Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, CT.