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Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Ready-to-eat cereal breakfasts are associated with improved nutrient intake and dietary adequacy but not body mass index in black adolescents

item Williams, Brandy
item O'neil, Carol
item Keast, Debra
item Cho, Susan
item Nicklas, Theresa

Submitted to: American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2009
Publication Date: 11/1/2009
Citation: Williams, B.M., O'Neil, C.E., Keast, D.R., Cho, S., Nicklas, T.A. 2009. Ready-to-eat cereal breakfasts are associated with improved nutrient intake and dietary adequacy but not body mass index in black adolescents. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 3(6): 500-508.

Interpretive Summary: Adolescence is a time of rapid growth and development, making this a period of nutritional vulnerability. At the same time, adolescents demonstrate increasing control over their own food choices and may make poor dietary choices that may impact their adult life. Skipping breakfast is an example of a poor dietary practice, commonly seen in adolescents and is more common in black than white adolescents. The consumption of ready-to-eat-cereals (RTECs); those cereals that can be consumed without further preparation at breakfast, may help adolescents maintain a healthy weight and improve nutrient intake. In this study, improved nutrient intake was associated with RTEC consumption at breakfast. Lower body mass index and waist circumference were seen in black adolescents consuming RTECs for breakfast when compared with those skipping breakfast, but not when compared with those consuming other breakfasts. Consuming a breakfast meal, especially a RTEC breakfast, should be encouraged in adolescents.

Technical Abstract: The goal of this study was to determine whether nutrient intake, dietary adequacy, and weight status were associated with type of breakfast consumption: skipping breakfast, consuming ready-to-eat cereal (RTEC) at breakfast, or consuming other types of foods at breakfast. Data from black adolescents 13 to 18 years of age (n=988), participating in the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used in a secondary data analysis. Thirty-seven percent of black adolescents skipped breakfast, 19% consumed RTEC at breakfast, and 44% consumed other breakfasts. RTEC breakfast and other breakfast consumers, had higher mean energy intakes than breakfast skippers (p less than or equal to .05). After adjusting for gender and energy intake, RTEC breakfast consumers had higher intakes of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, and vitamins A, B6, and B12 than breakfast skippers and other breakfast consumers (p less than or equal to .05). RTEC breakfast consumers had the highest mean adequacy ratio, followed by other breakfast consumers, then breakfast skippers (p less than or equal to .05). Those consuming RTEC at breakfast had lower mean body mass index (p less than or equal to .05) and waste circumference (p less than or equal to .05) than breakfast skippers; however, there was no difference between those consuming RTEC and other breakfasts. If confirmed in prospective studies, consuming a breakfast meal with RTEC may be a useful strategy to encourage in black adolescents as a way to improve nutrient intake and dietary adequacy without increasing weight.