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The Importance of Breakfast Meal Type to Daily Nutrient Intake: Differences by Age and Ethnicity


Carson, Terri A.; Siega-Riz, Anna Maria; & Popkin, Barry M. (1999). The Importance of Breakfast Meal Type to Daily Nutrient Intake: Differences by Age and Ethnicity. Cereal Foods World, 44(6), 414, 416, 418-20, 422.


This study examines ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal consumption patterns at breakfast by ethnicity and age to determine whether RTE cereal intake at breakfast or differences in daily food consumption patterns differentiate the nutrient intake of those who consume RTE cereal breakfast from others. Working with dietary data from the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals 1989-91 (n = 7,632), we classified individuals aged 5-59 years by ethniciry and by the regularity of their consumption of RTE cereal at breakfast. Differences in nutrient intake between regular consumers and ncnconsumers of RTE cereal within age/ethnicity groups were tested with weighted t tests and measured in three ways: I) 3-day average nutrient intake, 2) nutrients provided by breakfast, and 3) nutrients provided by nonbreakfast meals. Regular consumers of RTE cereals had an improved nutrient intake at breakfast compared to nonconsumers. The proportion of fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol was lower in breakfasts of regular consumers versus nonconsumers; and the proportion of fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamins A, C, E, and B vitamins was higher. For certain age groups in each ethnic group, regular consumption of RTE cereal at breakfast was associated with improved average daily intake of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, fiber, calcium, and iron. The differences found across ethnic and age groups have important nutritional implications.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Cereal Foods World


Carson, Terri A.
Siega-Riz, Anna Maria
Popkin, Barry M.