2010-2011 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
A nutritious breakfast and regular physical activity are both known to help improve an individual's weight status, reduce risk for chronic disease, and contribute to optimal physical performance. The relationship between breakfast consumption and physical activity involvement was investigated in students, faculty, and staff members at the University of Kentucky. A total of 200 individuals participated in the study including 94 males (age 22.0 +/- 5.09 years) and 106 females (age 22.69 +/- 7.29 years). Subjects completed surveys regarding their breakfast and exercise habits. The average BMI reported for both males and females were considered normal; 24.02 +/- 4.12 kg/m2 and 23.33 +/- 4.51 kg/m2 respectively. Thirty-six percent of participants reported skipping breakfast often compared to 25% which reported eating breakfast regularly. Based on BMI averages, breakfast skippers (25.9 kg/m2 +/- 2.09 kg/m2) were considered overweight, and breakfast consumers (24.6 kg/m2 +/- 5.22 kg/m2) were considered normal weight. Those who reported consuming breakfast frequently were found to be four times more likely to rate themselves as very active (p=0.01). In comparison, approximately 57% of participants who often skipped breakfast exercised less than 3 days a week. Running or walking and weight-lifting exercises were found to be the two most common types of physical activity. This research supports the importance of eating breakfast as part of a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular physical activity.