According the National Health and Morbidity Survey conducted by the Health Ministry of Malaysia, almost half of the adolescents (43.6%) in Malaysia responded ‘no appetite’ as their reason for skipping breakfast. Besides, there is also a high number of respondents (31.8%) reasoned ‘no time’ as their cause of skipping breakfast. Following is the minority feedback: 9.0% quoted ‘no food available’; 6.5% quoted ‘others’; 5.9% quoted ‘on diet/control body weight; and 3.2% quoted ‘no money’.
Sarawak has the highest number of adolescents skipping breakfast for having no appetite. Meanwhile, Putrajaya has the least percentage at 33.2%. In fact, Putrajaya is the only one that records a lower percentage of ‘no appetite’ to ‘no time’ compared to other locations in Malaysia. Maybe, the parents/adolescents in Putrajaya have to travel further for work/school.
Breakfast has been known as the most important meal of the day. Having a nutritious meal in the morning provides brain power while keeping your weight in check. Yet there are still many of us, especially the growing adults who skip this important meal. Eating habits formed in adolescence continue into adulthood, according to an article by The Conversation. Therefore, a poor dietary routine among adolescence will have implications on their health and well-being in the long run.
Thus, it is important for the education sector of Malaysia to promote the importance of healthy eating since pre-school. Additionally, educating parents on the importance of eating healthy is another way to indirectly teach children to pick up the habit. In many cases, parents are the closest being to a growing child, and since children have a way of picking up the habits of their parents, encouraging the adults to have breakfast regularly could potentially work in getting their kids to also eat in the morning.