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Trends in Breakfast Consumption of US Adults between 1965 and 1991


Haines, Pamela S.; Guilkey, David K.; & Popkin, Barry M. (1996). Trends in Breakfast Consumption of US Adults between 1965 and 1991. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 96(5), 464-470.


Objective: To examine breakfast consumption patterns and trends between 1965 and 1991 for adults in the United States.
Design: Trends analysis pooling three cross-sectional surveys.
Setting: Nationally representative samples obtained from the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey (NFCS) of 1965, the NFCS of 1977-1978, and the 1989-1991 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals.
Subjects: Adults aged 18 years and older: 6,274 in 1965, 18,033 in 1977-1978, and 10,812 in 1989-1991. All results reflect use of sampling weights, so results reflect nationally representative samples in each time period.
Main outcome measures: Breakfast consumption, defined as the consumption of food and/or beverage between the hours of 5 AM and 9 AM, was the focus of the trends analysis. Population prevalence rates are reported for the entire population and population subgroups.
Statistical analysis performed: Probit analysis was used to identify factors associated with changes in breakfast consumption over time.
Results: Breakfast consumption declined in the 26-year period between 1965 and 1991 from 86% to 75% for US adults. Breakfast consumption increased with age, and the age differential increased over time. Urban-rural and South-non-South differences in breakfast consumption narrowed over time, whereas black-nonblack and college-noncollege differences increased slightly or remained constant. The nutritional quality of food consumed at breakfast has improved since 1965.
Conclusions: Although part of the decline in breakfast consumption can be explained by personal and demographic determinants, other unknown factors contributed to the trends. Elucidation of such factors is necessary to predict differences in breakfast as a health-related behavior.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of the American Dietetic Association


Haines, Pamela S.
Guilkey, David K.
Popkin, Barry M.