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Children’s Perceptions of Parental Attitude Affecting Breakfast Skipping in Primary Sixth-Grade Students

Authors

  • Tereza SY Cheng MPH,

    1. MPH Graduate, (terezacheng@hotmail.com), School of Public Health, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
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  • Lap Ah Tse MB, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Instructor I, (shelly@cuhk.edu.hk), Department of Community & Family Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 4/F School of Public Health, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong SAR, China.
      Lap Ah Tse, Instructor I, (shelly@cuhk.edu.hk), Department of Community & Family Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 4/F School of Public Health, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong SAR, China.
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  • Ignatius Tak-Sun Yu MPH,

    1. Professor, (iyu@cuhk.edu.hk), Department of Community & Family Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 4/F School of Public Health, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong SAR, China.
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  • Sian Griffiths MSc, OBS

    1. Professor, (siangriffiths@cuhk.edu.hk), Department of Community & Family Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 4/F School of Public Health, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong SAR, China.
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  • Thanks are given to Ms Barbara Radcliffe for her kind permission without hesitation to use her questionnaire for the purpose of this study. This study was carried out by the first author during the Master of Public Health Programme of the School of Public Health, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2005-2006).

Lap Ah Tse, Instructor I, (shelly@cuhk.edu.hk), Department of Community & Family Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 4/F School of Public Health, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong SAR, China.

ABSTRACT

Background:  Breakfast skipping is an international public health concern. This study investigated the prevalence of breakfast skipping among primary sixth-grade students in Hong Kong and the impact of students’ perceptions of parental attitudes on breakfast skipping.

Methods:  A total of 426 students aged 10-14 years in 4 local schools participated in this cross-sectional study and completed a questionnaire adapted from an earlier study in Queensland. Breakfast skipping was defined as having missed any food or beverage (except water) between waking and the commencement of morning school classes at least 1 school day during the past week. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to explore the potential risk factors of breakfast skipping.

Results:  Of the 426 students, 130 (30.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 26.1-34.9) reported skipping breakfast for at least 1 day in a school week. Multiple logistic regression analyses showed that breakfast skipping was associated with lack of perceived parental emphasis on breakfast (odds ratio [OR] = 3.67, 95% CI: 1.75-7.68) and not believing that breakfast consumption could help concentration in class (OR = 3.82, 95% CI: 1.86-7.87).

Conclusions:  This study suggested that breakfast consumption habits could stem from the students’ beliefs and perceptions. Thus, working with students, parents, and schools to build up positive knowledge and beliefs about breakfast consumption might be useful.

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