A study was performed on the breakfast habits of 200 schoolchildren between 9 and 13 years of age. The subjects were classified into two groups: group C, children who consumed fortified breakfast cereals (65 boys and 35 girls), and group NC, children who did not (64 boys and 36 girls). The different dietary habits and the nutritional status of the two groups were analyzed. Haematological, biochemical, anthropometric, and dietary data were collected, the latter involving a 5-day food record. The children of the C group were found not only to have a more complete and nutritive breakfast, but also showed better dietary patterns for the rest of the day. Their lipid intake (% kJ) was lower and the carbohydrate intake (g/d and % kJ) higher than in the NC children. The intakes of thiamine, pyridoxine, folates, and β-carotenes were also higher in group C. Better dietary habits were reflected in higher blood levels of some important compounds. Group C children had higher retinol, serum folate, and riboflavin levels than NC children. The percentage of children with hypercholesterolaemia (serum cholesterol > 4.5 mmol/l) was higher amongst those of the NC group: 37% as compared with 18% of the C children.

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