12 interesting breakfast facts

Think breakfast. Does this mean cereal, eggs and bacon, yoghurt and banana, last night’s leftovers, a cup of tea – or just nothing?

Breakfast literally means to break the fast after a long night’s sleep. It is a crucial meal that refuels the body and the brain with energy and nutrients. Eating breakfast has been shown to improve mental alertness and physical performance.

During a Kellogg’s media briefing, the following interesting facts were stressed:

  • For many young children, there could be as many as 14 hours between supper and breakfast the next morning.
  • One in ten children skips breakfast, which can severely limit their ability to learn.
  • Children should get one quarter of their daily nutrition at breakfast.
  • One in four South African children are chronically undernourished; one in four does not get enough vitamin A; one in five have anaemia; one in ten is not getting enough iron.
  • Fortified kids’ breakfast cereals contain almost 50% more vitamin A, B6, folic acid and vitamin C than cooled oats porridge with milk.
  • Research shows that children who eat breakfast have healthier weights than children who skip breakfast and also perform better on memory tests.
  • One in every twelve South African children is obese.
  • The ideal breakfast should be high in carbohydrates, rich in nutrients and low in fat.
  • UK data has shown that breakfast cereals are the leading source of iron, a major source of B vitamins, and the provider of 10 percent of fibre in the diets of young people.
  • The average home has 4 - 6 cereals in the storage cupboard. Cereals are made from grains, to which are added ingredients such as sugar, chocolate, honey and fruits.
  • In the UK, breakfast cereals contribute to 7% of added sugar intake. Topping the list are soft drinks (35%), and confectioneries, biscuits, cakes and pastries (35%) and table sugar (8%).
  • More than half of all South African children are getting less than 66% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for some of the nutrients.

(Sources: Kellogg’s, South Africa and SANEP – South African Nutritional Expert Panel)

- (Health24, updated June 2009)

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