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To describe breakfast consumption patterns, on a nutrient and food item level, in Belgian adolescents.
A 7-day estimated food record was administered in a cross-sectional survey.
Secondary schools in Ghent, Belgium.
A total of 341 adolescents (13–18 years old), multistage clustered sampling.
The energy contribution of breakfast to daily energy intake was on average 15.7% in boys and 14.9% in girls. Significantly more overweight girls and significantly more girls following vocational training were categorised as eating a low-quality breakfast. In boys, the energy contribution of polysaccharides was significantly higher in consumers of good-quality breakfasts. The intake of all selected micronutrients was significantly higher in consumers of good-quality breakfasts. In girls, the total energy intake and the proportional intake of proteins and polysaccharides were significantly higher in consumers of good-quality breakfasts, while the proportional contribution of total fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids was significantly lower in these girls. The intake of all micronutrients was significantly higher in girls consuming a good-quality breakfast. In all adolescents, consumers of a good-quality breakfast had significantly higher intakes of bread, fruit, vegetables, milk and milk products, and fruit juice, while intake of soft drinks was significantly lower than in consumers of low-quality breakfasts.
Consumers of a good-quality breakfast had a better overall dietary pattern – on a nutrient and food group level – than consumers of a low-quality breakfast. A daily breakfast, including whole-grain products, fruit and (semi-) skimmed milk products or an alternative source of calcium, is recommended.
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