Breakfast intake and practices in Pacific Island women in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Background/aim: Pacific people living in New Zealand have disproportionately high rates of obesity, leading to increased adverse health outcomes. A tendency to skip breakfast has been reported within this group. Skipping breakfast is linked to dietary deficiencies such as calcium and fibre, and an increased appetite later in the day. The aim of this study was to explore recorded and observed breakfast intake and practices in Pacific Island women aged 18-45 years of different body compositions in New Zealand. This included an extensive literature review on breakfast habits and the relationship with body composition and food groups. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, Pacific women (18-45 years) completed a 5-day food record (FR) (n=146) and a videoed breakfast buffet (BB) (n=142). Body mass index (kg/m2) was measured using the bioelectrical impedance analysis, categorising women in obese, overweight or normal weight BMI groups. Associations between body composition, nutrient intake, food choice and eating behaviours were investigated. Results: From a nutrient perspective, all BMI groups had habitual intakes at the FR high in saturated fat, and low in dietary fibre and calcium. All BMI groups had significantly higher intakes at the BB compared with FR for energy, PUFA (g), carbohydrate (g), sugars, dietary fibre, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and calcium, and significantly lower intakes of cholesterol and protein (%). For food groups, servings of ‘breads, cereals and grains’, ‘milk, dairy and alternatives’, and ‘discretionary foods’ were all higher at the BB compared with the FR. Investigation into breakfast skipping found a significant difference in calcium intake between breakfast eating behaviour groups, with only breakfast eaters meeting breakfast recommendations (25% of NRV’s). Conclusion: The findings of this study provide valuable insight into Pacific women’s breakfast eating habits. Nutrients and food choice differed significantly between BB and FR, which may indicate influential factors such as food availability and social influence. While the results did not suggest a significantly different intake of food groups or nutrients between BMI groups, this may provide future research opportunities to explore whether nutrients consumed and food choice at breakfast in Pacific women influence food intake later in the day, and whether there is an association with body composition. This study does highlight the role of public health intervention in emphasizing the importance of consuming breakfast high in whole grains and dairy products to improve intakes of dietary fibre and calcium, and a lower saturated fat content of the meal for overall health benefits.
Breakfasts -- New Zealand, Women, Polynesian -- Nutrition -- New Zealand, Overweight women -- Nutrition -- New Zealand, Food preferences -- New Zealand, Food habits -- New Zealand