Pervasiveness of Breakfast Skipping and Its Associated Factors A Study of Undergraduates in State Universities in Colombo District

T. D. Weerasinghe, C. K. Batagoda


A cross sectional field study was conducted among a sample of 502undergraduates in state universities in Colombo district. The purpose was to study thepervasiveness of breakfast skipping and its associated factors among undergraduates.Convenience sampling was applied to select the sample and investigation was carriedout in all the faculties of four state universities in Colombo. Data collection was donevia a self administered pre tested questionnaire, and it met the acceptable standards ofvalidity and reliability. It was found that pervasiveness of breakfast skipping ismoderately high in the tested domain though breakfast affects undergraduates' healthstatus and ultimately the academic performance. Findings revealed that accommodation,frequency of skipping the dinner, fast food habits, academic year, daily academic timetable, smoking and financial reasons significantly contribute to breakfast skipping.Undergraduates staying in own houses are less likely to skip breakfast in comparison tothose who stay in hostels and boarding places. Third years and final years are morelikely to skip breakfast while smokers are less likely to skip. No significant relationshipis found between gender, consumption of nutritional supplements, time taken fortraveling and ethnic group with pervasiveness of breakfast skipping. Health awarenessprograms or education of healthy eating guidelines must be initiated for bothundergraduates and food caterers in universities. The quality and price of supplied foodsin universities must also be reviewed.

Key words: Pervasiveness of breakfast skipping, Undergraduates, Food habits

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