According to the new analysis of data from the 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that the eating patterns of 3,647 children ages 4-13 years, 13 percent of younger children and 17 percent of 9-13 year olds skip lunch on a given day. Skipping lunch is a common practice among children and adolescents, with 13 percent of younger children and 17 percent of 9-13 year olds skipping lunch on a given day, reveals a new survey that evaluated the eating patterns of more than 3,500 children in the US.
New research conducted by the Nestlé Research Center claims that skipping lunch is a relatively common practice among children and adolescents. These findings are of particular concern given that lunch skippers had lower intakes of nutrients, including calcium and fiber, than lunch consumers. In addition, the data show that for some children, the lunch meal was primarily responsible for the higher essential nutrient intakes of vitamin D, potassium and magnesium, as well as a nutrient of concern, sodium.Of those children, 13% of kids 4-8 skipped the midday meal, while 17% of 9-13 year olds opted out of lunch. The findings were presented at the American Society of Nutrition conference. “This study highlights an opportunity for both government and the food industry to develop new strategies to encourage children and adolescents to consume a healthy lunch,” Mathias added. But skipping lunch could result in children missing out on vital nutrients such as vitamin D, potassium and magnesium, researchers say.