Breakfast habits, beliefs and measures of health and wellbeing in a nationally representative UK sample

Sue Reeves, Lewis G. Halsey, Yvonne McMeel, Jorg Huber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to report UK adult breakfasting habits, beliefs and the relationship of both with measures of personality, health and wellbeing including physical activity and body mass index (BMI). A nationally representative sample of 1068 adults completed a web-based survey, combining standardised scales and self-designed questionnaire statements. Sixty-four percent of respondents consumed breakfast daily whilst 6% never ate breakfast. Breakfasting frequency was found to correlate with conscientiousness, wellbeing and age and general health. The survey found that breakfast eaters strongly believe that breakfast helps weight control and weight loss. Breakfast eaters were more likely to partake in vigorous exercise, although there was no significant difference in BMI. Multi-variate analysis identified conscientiousness, cognitive restraint and age as making unique contributions to predicting breakfast frequency. This study provides further support for the view that breakfast eating is likely to be a proxy-variable for a healthy lifestyle. The role of breakfast and related beliefs should be taken into consideration in breakfast behaviour research, interventions and health and wellbeing campaigns
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Breakfast
  • Health
  • Attitudes
  • Beliefs
  • Wellbeing
  • Eating style
  • Conscientiousness
  • Nutrition
  • Weight


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