Family income and mother's education affect whether students skip breakfast
Teenagers are more likely to eat breakfast if their mothers are highly educated or they come from families with lower incomes, research from the Middle East reveals.
A study published in Nursing Children and Young People journal found that breakfast consumption among 12 to 18-year-old school students was initially low and skipping breakfast increased with age.
However, those with higher family income were more likely to skip breakfast in favour of buying snacks or fast food than those with low incomes.
Those with mothers educated to more than secondary level and the 12-15 age group showed a statistically high consumption.
The authors of the study, conducted in schools in Jordan, suggested that a school-nurse led community and school-based education programme to target individuals or groups more prone to breakfast skipping would be beneficial.
In addition, school nurses should encourage students to have breakfast at school and can play a vital role in the early assessment and collection of information related to unhealthy nutritional habits.
Other health professionals can also play an integral role in promoting breakfast as the most important meal of the day, the authors said.
This could include developing health promotion programmes for students, teachers and families which should feature in the school curriculum, in lectures, scientific nutritional days, conferences and the mass media.
This cross-sectional school-based study was carried out between September and October 2014 and involved 1,303 students from grades 7 to 12, aged 12 to 18 in the north of Jordan. A chi-square test was used and an odds ratio and 95% confidence interval determined the predictive factors for skipping breakfast.