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Breakfast habits and snacks consumed at school among Qatari schoolchildren aged 9‐10 years

Abdelmonem S. Hassan (Human Nutrition Program, Department of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Science, University of Qatar, Doha, Qatar)
Sara N. Al‐Dosari (Human Nutrition Program, Department of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Science, University of Qatar, Doha, Qatar)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 23 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this study is to assess breakfast habits and foods mostly consumed as snacks during the school day among fourth grade Qatari schoolchildren.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross‐sectional survey on a random sample of fourth grade students was carried out using a questionnaire on food frequency, food habits and types of foods consumed in breakfast and during the school day. The study included 259 students, 124 (47.9 per cent) girls and 135 (52.1 per cent) boys aged 9‐10 years.

Findings

Results of the study revealed that 91.1 per cent of the boys and 89.5 per cent of the girls ate breakfast daily. Bread and breakfast cereals consumption at breakfast was significantly higher (p = 0.04) among girls (86.3 per cent) compared with boys (76.3 per cent). Cheese and eggs were consumed by 90.7 per cent of the children at breakfast. Sweets and chocolates consumption was significantly higher (p < 0.001) among girls (56.5 per cent) than boys (28.2 per cent). Consumption of bakery items was significantly higher (p = 0.035) among boys (45.9 per cent) compared with girls (33.1 per cent). About 80 per cent of the children consumed potato chips. More boys (80.7 per cent) than girls (48.4 per cent) bought their snacks from school (p < 0.001).

Originality/value

The paper reports some dietary habits among schoolchildren in Qatar that has not been reported before. The paper highlights some positive dietary habits that should be encouraged, e.g. eating breakfast daily, and some negative dietary habits that need to be addressed in nutrition education programs targeting schoolchildren in Qatar, e.g. high consumption of potato chips and low consumption of milk as snacks.

Keywords

Citation

Hassan, A.S. and Al‐Dosari, S.N. (2008), "Breakfast habits and snacks consumed at school among Qatari schoolchildren aged 9‐10 years", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 264-270. https://doi.org/10.1108/00346650810871957

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited