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The British Skip Breakfast

23 August 2013

EATING HABITS. More than four out of ten British adults are skipping breakfast at least once a week, according to a new survey from Canadean Custom Solutions. The tendency for people to skip breakfast can mean that obesity rates will continue to rise in the UK.

More than four out of ten British adults (43%) skip breakfast at least once a week, with 26% saying they do so four times a week or more. Those aged 18-24 years old are most likely to skip breakfast, with 54% skipping breakfast at least once a week and 29% skipping breakfast four times or more per week. When questioned why they do not eat breakfast in the morning, the most popular reason is “I am not hungry in the morning” (49%) followed by “I do not have time in the morning” (26%).

According to the Journal of Epidemiology, breakfast skippers have a higher risk of obesity, as eating earlier in the day prevents people from overeating later on. It also suppresses concentrations of insulin in the body which encourages fat cells to take up fatty acids and store them. The Canadean Custom Solutions survey suggests that the link between skipping breakfast and obesity is not fully understood by the Britons, with a total of 12% of adults saying that they are skipping breakfast in order to loose weight. Such attitudes can mean that prevailing levels of obesity in the UK will continue to rise.

Tendency to eat breakfast everyday is more common among kids, with nine out of ten parents with children under the age of 18 saying they eat a morning meal every day. However 9% said that their kids do not eat breakfast seven days a week. When questioned why, 32% said “they prefer to snack in the morning” and 10% said “they are too busy doing other activities such as social media”.

Of those adults who eat breakfast on a regular basis, time scarcity is still a major issue. When preparing breakfast during the week, 55% say they spend less than five minutes preparing a meal. Cereal is the most popular breakfast item consumed in the morning, with 65% regularly eating this, followed by toast with 42%. In comparison, only 12% say they regular eat other hot items in the morning, whilst 9% say they are reliant on cereal bars in the morning.

Time scarcity also means that consumers do not always have time to eat at the breakfast table, with 18% of adults saying that they eat breakfast five days a week either at-work (15%) or on-the-go (3%) in order to combine breakfast consumption with other activities.

According to Michael Hughes, Research Manager at Canadean Custom Solutions, this is a result of changing eating patterns impacted by time scarcity and lack of hunger.

“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”.

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