One in three Irish people do not eat any breakfast, while those who do spend an average of just nine minutes preparing and eating it, a new report has found.
The Breakfast Report investigated Ireland's breakfast habits compared to other countries in Europe. It revealed that 32% of Irish people skip what is widely considered to be the most important meal of the day. For those in their 20s, this figure rises to 48%.
Ireland is second only to Britain, where 34% of people skip breakfast. In France, just 17% of people skip the meal, while in Spain, only 13% skip it.
Meanwhile almost one in 10 women in Ireland never eats breakfast.
Almost four in 10 of those who skip breakfast said the reason for this is because they have no time and have too many other things to do in the morning. Around the same number of people said they cannot face food at that time of the day or are not hungry. Other reasons include getting to stay in bed longer or having more time to spend on their appearance each morning.
The report found that of those who do eat breakfast, Ireland is bottom of the European table in terms of time spent preparing and eating it - at just nine minutes. This compares to 9.8 minutes in the UK, 11.2 minutes in Italy, 13.6 minutes in France and 14.9 minutes in Spain.
Almost two in three people in their 30s spend less than five minutes preparing and eating breakfast.
"This new research shows that many of us are skipping breakfast even though we know we feel better when we have it. Nutritionists recognise breakfast as one of the most important meals of the day and people who skip it find it much harder to get their recommended daily amounts of iron and other vitamins," explained consultant dietician Sarah Keogh.
She added that people who eat breakfast have better concentration levels and find it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
The Breakfast Report was commissioned by Kraft Foods.
Discussions on this topic are now closed.