Death of the English breakfast?


London: More than three-quarters of British families no longer have breakfast together, according to new research.

The traditional morning sit-down has virtually disappeared as increasing workloads which require longer hours in the office take their toll on family life.

Instead, one in five people now eat breakfast alone before leaving for work, one in three eat on the way to the office and three out of ten have breakfast at their desk.

Only 22 per cent regularly have breakfast together at the table, according to the poll of 3,000 people by cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s.

The weekend is now the only time when many families find time to sit down and enjoy the first meal of the day together.

However, nearly 60 per cent think they now eat cereal more often despite not eating it as much with the family.

Most common reasons for this include; health benefits, eating it as a snack or as part of a balanced diet.

Supernanny Jo Frost, who is supporting Kellogg’s ‘Wake up to Breakfast’ Campaign, commented on the results:

”As our lives have become busier many families don’t sit down and eat together in the morning and 27 million people in the UK even skip breakfast regularly.

”We should encourage the nation to Wake up To Breakfast by highlighting the importance of breakfast and cereal as fuel for physical activity, mental ability, and nutrition for general wellbeing.”

Half of those polled claimed they did not have time to eat breakfast at the table whilst 11 per cent said they didn’t even own a breakfast table.

More than 56 per cent say it is sometimes a matter of grabbing what they can for breakfast at the last minute and 39 per cent even have smaller portions of cereals and more milk so they can eat it quicker.

For 31 per cent, the weekend was the only time they got to sit down to breakfast but even then 69 per cent of Brits say they still struggle to have the first meal of the day as a family on a Saturday or Sunday.

Despite the lack of time more than half of people said they enjoyed nothing more than settling down to breakfast with a newspaper.

TV presenter Phillippa Forrester, who is also supporting the campaign added: ”Experts recommend that we get around 25 per cent of our daily vitamins and iron at breakfast time so if you skip breakfast you’re unlikely to make up some vital nutrients later on in the day.

”It seems for many people having a family breakfast is out of their control as eight out of ten of those surveyed reckon people miss out on the experience of being with children or loved ones.”

A massive 70 per cent of Brits polled think they ate breakfast with people much more when they were younger compared to now.

And of those who still do, the majority (a third) admit they only eat breakfast once or twice a week with their children, partner or family.

It was found on average Brits spend a measly eight minutes eating their brekkie with a worrying 12 per cent not knowing how long because they eat it too quickly.

Top 10 Regions who no longer eat breakfast together

1. North East

2. Midlands

3. South East

4. London

5. North West

6. South

7. Scotland

8. Wales

9. Ireland

10. South West

Top 10 regions which skip breakfast

1. South East

2. Midlands

3. London

4. North West

5. Wales

6. Scotland

7. North East

8. South

9. South West

10. Ireland

Top 10 reasons to why the family breakfast is in decline

1. Not enough time
2. Too early, children/partner still asleep/in bed
3. Have to get out the door
4. Some people don’t eat breakfast
5. Eat it as I walk around getting ready in the morning
6. No breakfast table
7. Different tastes
8. Eat breakfast at work
9. Munch it as I leave the front door
10. People are doing their own thing (waking/getting up at different times, being out and about)