January 2016: Around a quarter of young people in NSW miss breakfast on a regular basis. Missing breakfast has significant negative impacts on educational and health outcomes for young people and, alarmingly, has been linked with obesity in adolescence.
Obesity in childhood and adolescence, and failure to achieve at school, have life-long consequences not only for young people but also for our communities.
Drivers for breakfast skipping are complex. While as many as 1 in 7 young people in NSW experience poverty and deprivation, breakfast skipping is not solely due to food insecurity or deprivation. Some young people are choosing to forgo breakfast.
Breakfast programs both internationally and in Australia have been found to combat the health and educational impacts of breakfast skipping. While some schools and communities in NSW currently have breakfast programs, these programs are likely not available to every young person who would benefit, nor young people who are most in need.