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Fiji Time: 7:40 PM on Thursday 18 September

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Eat right, live right

With Avinesh Gopal
Monday, January 21, 2013

BREAKFAST is regarded as the most important meal of the day, contributing significantly to daily nutrient intake and energy needs.

On the other hand, ensuring healthy lunch and snacks for children is also an important part of the school day.

According to the National Food and Nutrition Centre, studies in other countries have shown that eating breakfast is associated with learning and better school performance.

The centre said a study in Fiji found that 30 per cent of students reported missing breakfast one or more days in the five days prior to the interview.

It said reasons given by the students were waking up late, there was no food for breakfast, breakfast was late or they believe that eating breakfast was fattening.

"A nutritious breakfast contributes to healthy growth and development in children, teens and adults," the centre said in a statement.

"Furthermore, concentration skills and attention span can be improved by having breakfast.

"To balance energy need, instead of eating nutritious foods like wholemeal bread or fruit, those who skip breakfast are more likely to eat sweets or foods high in salt, fat or sugar later in the morning."

The centre said eating food high in sugar, fat and salt over a period of time was likely to contribute to obesity and other non-communicable diseases later in life.

It said people, including school children, should eat breakfast as it would keep one healthy and feeling better.

"Children fed nutritious foods in daily meals at home and at school are more likely to receive the essential nutrients he or she requires.


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