Barriers, Benefits, and Behaviors Related to Breakfast Consumption Among Rural Adolescents

Mary O. Hearst, Amy Shanafelt, Qi Wang, Robert Leduc, Marilyn S. Nanney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: We sought to determine if perceived barriers, benefits, and modifiable behaviors support or interfere with breakfast consumption in a racially and economically diverse rural high school population. METHODS: The participants were 832 Minnesota adolescents from 16 rural high schools. We used baseline data from a group randomized trial aimed at increasing school breakfast participation through policy and environmental-level school changes. Students completed an online survey asking about demographics, breakfast eating behaviors, and the barriers and benefits of eating as it relates to school performance. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression, accounting for clustering by school, was performed using SAS. Each scale was modeled independently. RESULTS: Participants were 9th and 10th grade students, 36% free/reduced-price lunch (FRL), 30% non-White, and 55% female. Breakfast skippers compared to nonbreakfast skippers reported fewer school related benefits and beliefs and more barriers to eating breakfast (p<.01). Adjusted models revealed students reported more positive beliefs (OR=0.78, 95% CI=0.73-0.83), more benefits (OR=0.95, 95% CI=0.93-0.97) and fewer barriers (OR=0.85, 95% CI=0.82-0.87) and were less likely to skip breakfast. CONCLUSIONS: Future intervention research should focus on alleviating barriers and enhancing education around the school related benefits of eating breakfast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-194
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Adolescent
  • Barriers
  • Rural
  • School breakfast

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