Relationship between breakfast skipping and obesity among elderly: Cross-sectional analysis of the HEIJO-KYO study



Breakfast skipping is reported to be associated with obesity in children and younger populations; however, few studies report the association among elderly. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between breakfast skipping and obesity prevalence among elderly.


Cross-sectional study.


Community-dwelling elderly in Nara, Japan.


1052 elderly participants (mean age: 71.6 years).


Obesity and breakfast skipping were defined as body mass index of ≥25 kg/m2 and skipping breakfast one or more times per week, respectively.


Two hundred and seventy-two participants (25.9%) were classified as obese and forty-one (3.9%) were as breakfast skippers. Obesity prevalence was significantly higher in breakfast skippers than in breakfast eaters (43.9% vs. 25.1%, P = 0.007). In multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusted for potential confounders (age, sex and alcohol consumption), breakfast skippers showed significantly higher odds ratio (OR) for obesity than breakfast eaters (OR, 2.23; 95% confidence interval, 1.17–4.27; P = 0.015), which continued to be significant after further adjustment for socioeconomic status. In addition, breakfast skippers showed significantly lower daily potassium (P <0.001) and dietary fibre intakes (P = 0.001) and lower subjective physical activity (P = 0.035) than breakfast eaters.


Breakfast skipping was significantly associated with obesity among elderly. Poor diet quality and physical inactivity may be potential intermediators underlying the association between breakfast skipping and obesity.

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Correspondence to Keigo Saeki.

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Otaki, N., Obayashi, K., Saeki, K. et al. Relationship between breakfast skipping and obesity among elderly: Cross-sectional analysis of the HEIJO-KYO study. J Nutr Health Aging 21, 501–504 (2017).

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Key words

  • Breakfast skipping
  • obesity
  • elderly
  • physical activity
  • diet quality