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Should young people be skipping breakfast?

It wouldn't be uncommon to hear of people skipping breakfast, but what impact does this have on psychosocial behaviour?

Psychosocial characteristics generally includes self-esteem and mood, as well as affect, such as anxiety. Affective disorders, such as anxiety, are the leading causes of illness and disability among children and adolescents. Most affective disorders begin in childhood, therefore early identification and treatment is crucial for their future.

One factor which can be attributed to increased risk of psychosocial difficulties is a lower adherence to a healthy diet. Previous studies have identified that those who skip breakfast have a higher risk of stress, depression, and psychological distress in all age groups, as well as anxiety in adolescents.

Another area of interest is the association between breakfast place, at home or out and psychosocial behaviours. Social context has shown to be important when it comes to eating breakfast, and those that sit with their family regularly in a sociocultural context, eat a higher consumption of nutrient rich foods. Eating out of the home environment tends to attract lower consumption of micronutrients and poor nutrient-rich foods, which then can lead to lower mood states.

Psychosocial behavioural problems are one of the most important worldwide worries in the young population, so educating and role-modelling healthy behaviours are integral to their development.

Lopez-Gil, J.F. et al. (2022). Breakfast and psychological behavioural problems in young population: The role of status, place, and habits. Frontiers in nutrition. 22.871238.


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