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New Survey Reveals Kiwis Fast Food Breakfast Habits

16 March 2016

New Survey Reveals Kiwis Fast Food Breakfast Habits

Kiwis are either skipping breakfast or choosing poor options including reheated fish & chips, cold pizza and beer according to new research.

The Sanitarium Better Brekkie study investigated the attitudes and habits of Kiwis and found that when it came to breakfast, despite 93% of us saying it’s an important meal many either skip it or choose something unhealthy.

The study revealed that a tenth (10%) of us start our day with breakfast from a fast food outlet at least once a week or more often. This figure was highest among young adults (18-24) with almost a quarter (23%) of them admitting to regularly chowing down on fast food for breakfast.

Along with choosing unhealthy options, many Kiwis said they often don’t bother to eat breakfast with eight percent of those surveyed saying they skipped the meal every day. A further fifth of all Kiwis (19%) said they miss breakfast at least twice a week.

Young millennials were the most likely to go without a healthy breakfast with almost half (46%) of those aged 18-24 saying they usually forego the meal most days of the week. The survey also found that of those who skip breakfast every morning of the week, seven out of ten (71%) often opt for just a hot beverage for breakfast.

More than a sixth (17%) of Kiwi adults said that they choose tea, hot chocolate or coffee in lieu of breakfast. This number is higher for those in the Generation X age group with more than a fifth (21%) choosing hot drinks.

Those surveyed said some of their most guilty breakfast choices were cold pizza (24%), chocolate (13%) pie or biscuits at (12%). Other options included; ice cream, reheated fish and chips, pavlova, leftover party food from the night before, and beer and cold chips.

Only a quarter (24%) of us said that we only ever eat healthy breakfasts.

The survey not only revealed what we’re eating for breakfast but how we are eating it. It found the age-old tradition of sitting down to eat breakfast with our family appears to have been significantly eroded over time.

Only an eighth (13%) of those surveyed have breakfast every morning of the week with family, and more than a third (36%) of those adults aged under 25 said they never have breakfast with family.

Parents of preschool-aged children were more likely to spend time around the kitchen table with their children, just over a third saying they sat down with their family for breakfast 2-6 mornings a week; and three in ten (29%) of those with school-aged children sit down with their family for breakfast 2-6 mornings a week.

The study also revealed that Kiwis are creatures of habit when it comes to the choice of breakfast with more than two thirds (67%) of us eating the same breakfast for at least half of the week. Of those who eat the same breakfast every morning of the week, 85% describe their breakfast meal choices as just “OK”.

A fifth (20%) of us would describe our regular breakfast choices as boring with young adults the most dissatisfied with their options at 40%.

Sanitarium nutritionist Susan Buxton says it’s disappointing to see how many of us are still not eating a nutritious breakfast.

“Most fast food breakfasts are not ideal as they are generally energy dense and nutrient poor meaning that they are high kilojoules and usually also high in fat and sugar and low in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals,” says Buxton.

She says while many fast food outlets are trying to provide better options, those going to eat at these outlets may not choose the healthier choice.

The research was commissioned in conjunction with the Weet-Bix Better Brekkie Programme a partnership between the popular breakfast brand and celebrity chef Michael Van De Elzen.

Van de Elzen has created a selection of recipes which are designed to inspire Kiwis and their families to make better choices at breakfast time. See all recipes at


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