Towards an Evidence-Based Recommendation for a Balanced Breakfast-A Proposal from the International Breakfast Research Initiative

Michael J Gibney, Susan I Barr, France Bellisle, Adam Drewnowski, Sisse Fagt, Sinead Hopkins, Barbara Livingstone, Gregorio Varela-Moreiras, Luis Moreno, Jessica Smith, Florent Vieux, Frank Thielecke, Gabriel Masset*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The International Breakfast Research Initiative (IBRI) set out to derive nutritional recommendations for a balanced breakfast using a standardized analysis of national nutrition surveys from Canada, Denmark, France, Spain, UK and the US. In all countries, the frequency of breakfast consumption by age was high and U-shaped with children and older adults having a higher frequency of breakfast consumption. Breakfast contributed 16% to 21% of daily energy intake. In all countries, breakfast was a carbohydrate- and nutrient-rich meal, providing more carbohydrates (including sugars), thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and less vitamin A, fats and sodium relative to its contribution to daily energy intakes. Breakfast consumers were stratified by tertiles of the Nutrient Rich Foods (NRF) index, used as a measure of diet quality. Breakfast intakes associated with the top tertile of NRF, along with the Codex Alimentarius international food standards and World Health Organization (WHO) diet guidelines, were used to derive the proposed nutrient recommendations. The goal was to preserve the nutrient density of existing breakfasts, while addressing concerns regarding added sugars, saturated fats, dietary fiber, and vitamin D. This initiative is unique in seeking to derive nutrient recommendations for a specific meal using the observed nutritional profile of such meal.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1540
Issue number10
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • IBRI
  • breakfast
  • nutrient recommendations


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