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Breakfast quality and its sociodemographic and psychosocial correlates among Italian children, adolescents, and adults from the Italian Nutrition & HEalth Survey (INHES) study

Martínez, C. F., Ruggiero, E., Di Castelnuovo, A., Esposito, S., Costanzo, S., Cerletti, C., Donati, M. B., De Gaetano, G., Iacoviello, L., Bonaccio, M.; INHES Study Investigators.

Nutrition Journal, 2024 Feb 19;23(1):20.


February 19, 2024

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Breakfast quality, together with regularity of breakfast, has been suggested to be associated with cardiometabolic health advantages. We aimed to evaluate the quality of breakfast and its socioeconomic and psychosocial correlates in a large sample of the Italian population.
Cross-sectional analyses on 7,673 adult and 505 children/adolescent regular breakfast eaters from the Italian Nutrition & Health Survey (INHES; 2010-2013). Dietary data were collected through a single 24-h dietary recall. Breakfast quality was assessed through the Breakfast Quality Index (BQI) combining intake of ten food groups, energy, and nutrients of public health concern, and potentially ranging from 0 to 10. The association of sociodemographic and psychosocial factors with BQI were analyzed by multivariable-adjusted linear regression models.
The average BQI was 4.65 (SD ± 1.13) and 4.97 (SD ± 1.00) in adults and children/adolescents, respectively. Amongst adults, older age (β = 0.19; 95%CI 0.06 to 0.31 for > 65 vs. 20–40 years) and having a high educational level (β = 0.13; 0.03 to 0.23; for postsecondary vs. up to elementary) were independent predictors of better breakfast quality, while men reported lower BQI (β = -0.08; -0.14 to -0.02 vs. women). Perceived stress levels at home and work and financial stress were inversely associated with BQI. Children/adolescents living in Central and Southern Italian regions had lower BQI compared to residents in Northern Italy (β = -0.55; -0.91 to -0.19 and β = -0.24; -0.47 to -0.01, respectively).
In adults, breakfast quality was associated with age, sex, and educational level. Perceived stress levels were inversely associated with the quality of breakfast. In children/adolescents, a north-south gradient in breakfast quality was observed.

This research output is related to

Spoke 05

Lifelong nutrition

A healthy diet for all

Lead organisationUniNa

Spoke leaderAnnamaria Colao
Research projectPROMETEO

Promoting adherence to an unprocessed mediterranean diet over the lifecourse

Managed by

Principal investigators

Licia Iacoviello,Marialaura Bonaccio

Referred to

Spoke 05