Breakfast Quality Varies by Location among Low-Income Ethnically Diverse Children in Public Urban Schools


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Abstract

ObjectiveTo evaluate breakfast location and children's food choices.MethodsCross-sectional analysis of 1,371 fourth- through sixth-grade students in 2013. Foods and beverages in 17 categories characterized breakfast choices: (1) ≥ 1 fruits or vegetables, (2) ≥ 1 foods high in saturated fats and added sugars (SFAS), and (3) meeting School Breakfast Program (SBP) requirements.ResultsAmong breakfast eaters (n = 1,133; 82.6%), 46.0% ate at home, 13.1% ate at school, 41.0% ate at multiple locations; and 21.8% ate at a corner store. Those eating at school were more likely to consume ≥1 fruit or vegetable (odds ratio [OR] = 1.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.26–2.87), less likely to eat ≥1 SFAS food (OR = 0.46; 95% CI, 0.22–0.94), and more likely to meet SBP requirements (OR = 2.47; 95% CI, 1.42–4.29). Those eating at corner stores (n = 247) were more likely to consume high-SFAS foods (63.9% vs 9.2%; P < .001).Conclusions and ImplicationsEating school breakfast increased the odds of consuming fruit, choosing lower SFAS, and meeting nutritional requirements of the SBP relative to other locations.

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