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Breakfast cereals boost nutritional intake in low income populations: Study

By Nathan Gray, 23-Aug-2011

Related topics: Health, R&D

Breakfast cereals make a significant contribution towards the micronutrient intake of the low-income UK population, according to new research.

The study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, assessed the contribution that breakfast cereals make to the nutrient intakes of low income UK population.

Assessing data from over 3500 people, the researchers found that people who eat cereal for breakfast had significantly higher intakes of key micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

“Consumers of breakfast cereals had higher intakes of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron and zinc than non-consumers,” said the authors, led by Professor Tom Sanders from the Nutritional Sciences Division at King's College London.

“Breakfast cereal consumption was also related to higher intakes of calcium, attributable to higher milk consumption,” they added.

Study details

Sanders and his team analysed the nutrient intakes of 3728 people taking part in the UK Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey. The research team compared consumers and non-consumers of breakfast cereal to assess differences in nutrient intake.

The team found that breakfast cereals were consumed by 49% of men, 58% of women, 80% of children (both boys and girls).

The researchers said that people who consumed breakfast cereal had significantly higher intakes of vitamins and other micronutrients, including: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron and zinc.

In addition to increases in micronutrient intakes, the Sanders and his colleagues reported that intake of wholegrain and high-fibre breakfast cereal was associated with a higher intake of non-starch polysaccharides.

“Intakes of niacin, biotin, calcium and zinc were higher but that of vitamin B6 was lower among consumers of exclusively wholegrain and high-fibre breakfast cereals compared with consumers of other breakfast cereals,” they added.

Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.143
“The contribution of breakfast cereals to the nutritional intake of the materially deprived UK population”
Authors: B.A. Holmes, N. Kaffa, K. Campbell, T.A.B. Sanders