The objective of this study was to describe breakfast and lunch consumption patterns of fourth-grade students from selected public schools in Maryland and how they differ by geographic location. Data were collected from a sample of 540 fourth-grade public school children (46% male, 62% white; mean age=9 years) from three geographically distinct regions of Maryland (30% rural, 30% suburban, and 40% urban). Data on breakfast and lunch consumption were collected using an in-classroom questionnaire. χ2 tests were used to compare skipping meal behavior by geographic location. Twenty percent of fourth-grade students reported skipping breakfast and/or lunch at least three times per week. Urban students were more than twice as likely to skip breakfast and to eat school-prepared meals compared with suburban and rural students. Dietitians in all regions need to explore new ways to encourage regular meal consumption among students in their schools.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science