Breakfast Consumption Behavior among Secondary School Students in Bangkok
Keywords:Eating behavior, Breakfast, Secondary school students
This descriptive research aimed to study breakfast consumption behavior among students in secondary education, Mathayom Suksa 1 and 4 (Grades 7 and 10) of two schools in Bangkok in the second semester of academic year 2018. The sample was obtained by convenience sampling, with the cooperation and agreement of parents. Data were obtained by administering student and parent questionnaires. General information about respondents, including breakfast consumption behavior among students, reasons for skipping breakfast, the average number of meals eaten per day, the variety of food that students chose for breakfast, the most consumed types of breakfast food, breakfast consumption behavior among parents, and breakfast preparation for students, were analyzed by using descriptive statistics. Student breakfast consumption behavior was compared with demographic factors and the breakfast consumption behavior of parents by using the Chi-square test.
562 students were included: 358 (63.7%) from Mathayom Suksa 1 (Grade 7) and 204 (36.3%) from Mathayom Suksa 4 (Grade 10). 56% were female and 44% were male. 74.4% of students lived with their parents, 51.1% of the primary parents of the students were mothers, 28.7% of primary parents were government officers or state enterprise employees, 43.1% of the primary parents had a Bachelor's degree, 29.5% had a family income ranging between 10,000-30,000 Baht/month, and 51.7% of students had 70-100 Baht/day pocket money. 70.5% of students ate breakfast every day, 25.4% ate breakfast sometimes or were uncertain about it, and 4.1% skipped breakfast. 22.6% of students reported that they had no time for breakfast. Most students (75.1%) chose to eat rice topped with other food, or a single dish, for breakfast, and 56.3% ate a breakfast which was composed of different types of food consumed together. The following factors: student education level (p = 0.001), the family member who was living with the student (p = 0.043), parents’ education level (p<0.001), family income (p<0.001), bedtime (p<0.001), parents’ breakfast consumption behavior, and breakfast preparation for students (p<0.001), were significantly correlated with the breakfast consumption behavior of students.
The results of this study showed that most students consumed breakfast every day. However, almost one third of students consumed breakfast only on some days or did not eat breakfast at all. Skipping breakfast may have a negative impact on physical health, causing hunger due to the lack of sufficient nutrients in children’s brain and also have a long-term effect on learning efficiency. Therefore, the breakfast consumption behavior of students is very important. It is closely associated with parental factors, including family income, parental consumption behavior and breakfast preparation for students. Consequently, all health personnel should raise awareness and provide education about the importance of eating breakfast among adolescents, families and communities to promote breakfast consumption behavior. We recommend that health personnel point out the importance of breakfast and the negative effects that occur if students skip breakfast every day. Finally, promoting positive eating habits among secondary school students might make adolescents healthy and reach their full potential.
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