Breakfast in America - Growing numbers ignore breakfast

DeWayne Bartels

Methodist Medical Center dietitian Amy Fuller walked right past the people standing in line at the grill ordering eggs, sausage and potatoes. Asked where the nutritious breakfast items were located, Fuller headed straight to the selection of fresh fruit and cereal.

“Breakfast is a very important meal. It’s a good chance for people to jump start the day. It energizes us,” Fuller said.

But, Fuller said, the importance of breakfast seems to be waning in people’s minds. A 2002 U.S. Department of Agriculture study called “What We Eat in America,” found then that 80 percent of Americans, 2-years-old and older reportedly ate breakfast.

Fuller said her research shows it is now down to 70 percent.   

“People skip breakfast for a number of reasons. People skip it because they think it helps them lose weight. But, you miss needed nutrients,” Fuller said.

“What We Eat in America” found in 2002 only 67 percent of young adults 20-29 years of age ate breakfast, the lowest of all age groups.

On average, breakfast provides 17 percent of the day’s total calories.

“Breakfasts provide proportionately more of most vitamins and minerals than calories, ranging from 16-27 percent of daily intakes. The top reported breakfast items include milk (46 percent), coffee (33 percent), ready-to-eat-cereals (28 percent), and breads/rolls (27 percent),” the study showed.

“Most breakfasts (75