By the numbers - Breakfast

10th May 2013 at 01:00

A major study by children's charity Unicef recently ranked the best countries for children to grow up in, with the Netherlands coming out on top.

One factor contributing to the country's top ranking is the high proportion of its children who eat breakfast every day, standing at more than 85 per cent.

More than half of children eat breakfast every day in 27 of the 29 countries surveyed by Unicef. But in Romania and Slovenia, just 45.3 per cent and 43.6 per cent respectively reported that they ate before school.

Skipping breakfast is linked with poverty: according to the World Health Organisation, children in more affluent families are more likely to eat breakfast.

The WHO has also found that skipping breakfast is linked to being overweight and less physically active, whereas regular breakfast consumption is associated with a better diet that includes fruit and vegetables.

Eating breakfast is also advocated as a way of improving academic performance, with many schools introducing breakfast clubs to ensure that children start the day with a nutritious meal.

Average Percentage of children aged 11, 13 and 15 eating breakfast every day

Netherlands 85.1%

Ireland 71.5%

Finland 67.5%

Spain 65.3%

Canada 61.2%

United Kingdom 61.1%

Poland 59.9%

Hungary 51.1%

United States 50.6%

Slovenia 43.6%

Source: Child Well-being in Rich Countries: A Comparative Overview, Unicef.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now