Breakfast Eating Pattern and Ready-to-Eat Cereals Consumption among Schoolchildren in Kuala Lumpur|
KOO, Hui-Chin; JALIL, Siti Nurain Abdul & TALIB, Ruzita Abd
Background: Studies from the West have demonstrated that ready-to-eat cereals (RTECs) are a common form of breakfast and more likely to be consumed by children. This study aimed to investigate the breakfast eating pattern and RTECs consumption among schoolchildren in Kuala Lumpur.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 382 schoolchildren, aged 10 and 11 years old, were recruited from seven randomly selected primary schools in Kuala Lumpur. Information on socio-demographics, breakfast eating patterns, and perceptions of RTECs and dietary intake (24-hour dietary recalls) were obtained.
Results: Among the respondents, only 22% of them consumed breakfast on a regular basis. The most commonly eaten food by children at breakfast was bread (27.2%), followed by biscuits (22.2%) and RTECs (20.5%). The majority of them (93%) reported that they consumed RTECs sometimes during the week. Chocolate RTECs (34.1%), corn flake RTECs (30.3%), and RTECs coated with honey (25.1%) were the most popular RTECs chosen by children. Respondents who consumed RTECs showed a significantly higher intake in calories, carbohydrate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, folate, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and fibre (P< 0.05), compared to those who skipped breakfast and those who had breakfast foods other than RTECs.
Conclusion: The lower levels of breakfast consumption among schoolchildren in Kuala Lumpur need serious attention. RTEC is a nutritious food which is well accepted by a majority of the schoolchildren in Kuala Lumpur. Nutrition intervention should be conducted in the future to include a well-balanced breakfast with the utilisation of RTECs for schoolchildren.
breakfast; cereals; children; calorie; Malaysia