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To tweet or eat?

By: The Food Coach

New research has revealed as many as a third of Australians are starting their day with a social media fix rather than eating breakfast, and for one in five it's a regular habit. The Galaxy Research study - commissioned by the Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum (ABCMF) - showed 65% of Australian adults skip breakfast with 41% skipping at least twice a week.

Lack of time is the number one reason almost six million Aussies regularly skip breakfast, but more than half (53%) manage to find time to check Facebook, tweet, text or email before leaving home in the morning. In fact social media is the most common morning activity among breakfast skippers. Accredited Practising Dietitian and Director of the Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum Leigh Reeve said it was a worrying trend.

"The research shows for most Aussies it takes less than five minutes to make and eat a bowl of breakfast cereal, yet breakfast is being sacrificed as people choose a Facebook newsfeed over a real feed to start their day," said Ms Reeve. "It's a crazy decision. Having breakfast is one of the easiest things you can do to set yourself up for the day. A bowl of cereal will give you loads of essential nutrients and boost your mood, energy levels and concentration.

"There's no doubt we are increasingly time poor but investing in breakfast is well worth the returns. Science supports the fact that regularly breakfast cereal eaters are more likely to have better nutrition, tend to be slimmer, and benefit from improved mental and physical performance. "While in the long run, a daily breakfast cereal habit may reduce the risk of lifestyle related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes."

The Galaxy Research study also revealed:

  • 86% of 18-24 year olds skip breakfast and 55% are skipping on a regular basis. Among this group of skippers, 69% are still finding time for social media in the mornings.

  • The main reasons Aussies skip breakfast are not enough time (50%), not hungry or prefer to eat later in the day (34%), too disorganised (23%).

  • 53% of regular breakfast skippers still find time for social media including checking and sending emails (44%) and "facebooking" (34%). Other activities regular skippers give priority to are choosing to sleep in as long as possible (48%), doing household chores (31%), watching telly (25%), helping get children ready (24%), reading the paper (19%), opting for a little early morning romance (11%), or exercising (10%).

  • Nearly one million Aussies find time for sex but not breakfast.

  • Nearly three million Australians regularly skip breakfast and just grab a coffee instead.

  • 20 years ago more than 90% of people ate breakfast at home, now 37% of full time workers regularly eat breakfast on the go most commonly desktop dining when they get to work (30%) or eating breakfast on public transport or in the car (12%).

  • Gen Y is the least likely to eat breakfast at home (65%) and more likely to eat it on the go (20%) or at work (28%).

  • The average Aussie allocates 10 minutes to breakfast on a regular weekday, while most breakfast cereal eaters (69%) can prepare and eat a bowl of cereal in less than 5 minutes.

  • While widely regarded by dietitians as an important start to the day2, breakfast is also the most skipped meal of the day (44%) with just 17% of people more likely to skip lunch and 4% more likely to skip dinner.

    The Galaxy Research was conducted in October, 2013, among a total representative sample of 1001 Australians aged 18-64 years.


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