Global perceptions of the importance of breakfast
June 8th, 2023, Hoang Nguyen

Global perceptions of the importance of breakfast

Many of us have heard the well-worn phrase, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” The axiom has long been ingrained in popular health advice and observational studies have shown breakfast has many benefits, including improving alertness and memory function, lowering the risk of diabetes and bettering heart health.

However, many food scientists and nutritionists say the importance of breakfast varies from person to person and understanding what you eat is nearly as significant as when you eat.

A recent poll from YouGov reveals that global perceptions regarding the significance of breakfast show considerable variation. Let’s take a closer look at whether the world thinks breakfast is really the most important meal of the day.

Examining the data in the 18-market survey, it becomes evident that opinions on the importance of breakfast differ significantly across countries. Overall, 63% of global respondents agreed that breakfast is the most important meal, while 23% expressed neutrality and 14% disagreed.

India stands out as the country with the highest agreement, with an overwhelming 86% of respondents believing in breakfast’s significance. Similarly, Mexico and the UAE exhibit high levels of agreement at 79% and 78% respectively. Several APAC markets such as Hong Kong (74%), Indonesia (73%), China (72%) and Singapore (70%) follow closely in their high rate of agreement on breakfast’s importance.

Respondents in Italy, Poland and Spain are the most likely of all European markets surveyed to agree with the statement.

By contrast, those in Sweden (52%), Great Britain (47%), Germany (47%) and Denmark (46%) are the least of all global markets surveyed to agree, with rates sitting just below half. These four markets are also the most likely to disagree with the statement overall. Nevertheless, in each case, people are much more likely to agree with the statement than to disagree with it.

Notably, these same markets display a significant proportion of respondents expressing neutrality towards the axiom, ranging from 25% to 31%.

The survey results point to a diversity of opinions across different markets regarding breakfast’s importance. These findings emphasize that while a majority or plurality of respondents in many countries agreed with the statement, there may be cultural, dietary and individual factors at play when discussing the significance of breakfast.

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