Background

Skipping breakfast among adolescents is associated with overweight/obesity and weight status perceptions.Racial/ethnic differences influence teens' misperceptions of their weight status.This study will analyze associations between weight perceptions/actual weight status and skipping breakfast in adolescents of different races/ethnicities.

Methods

Data was analyzed from the national 2015 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey. Self-reported weight status perceptions/actual weight status formed four IVs: 1) Normal weight, with accurate weight perception; 2) Normal weight, with misperception as overweight; 3) Overweight, with accurate weight perception; and 4) Overweight, with misperception as normal weight. “Skipping breakfast” was the DV defined as eating breakfast less than 7 days per week.Logistic regression, controlling for age, gender, and race, determined associations between weight status perceptions/actual weight status and skipping breakfast. Gender and race/ethnicity-stratified (African-American, Hispanic, White) regression models were conducted to examine associations between breakfast skipping and weight status perceptions.

Results

For the total sample (N=7244), normal weight adolescents with misperceptions of being overweight were more likely to skip breakfast compared to those with accurate weight perceptions (OR=1.587, 95% CI: 1.329, 1.894; p=0.0008). Comparisons among races/ethnicities indicated that normal weight White teens who viewed themselves as overweight were more likely to skip breakfast than those with accurate weight perceptions (OR=1.654, 95% CI: 1.336, 2.046; p=0.003).However, weight status perceptions were not associated with skipping breakfast in African American or Hispanic adolescents.

Conclusions

Adolescents should be educated about inaccurate weight status perceptions and the healthy weight benefits of eating breakfast daily.Efforts to dispel misconceptions about skipping breakfast to lose weight should focus on white teens.