Herbalife Study Reveals Time-Starved Consumers Skip Breakfast

Los Angeles-based Herbalife Nutrition, in conjunction with National Breakfast Month, announced the results of its Healthy Breakfast Survey of more than 8,000 global consumers.

The survey about breakfast attitudes and consumption habits, which can have serious health implications for consumers, revealed that while 95 percent of respondents acknowledge the importance of eating breakfast, nearly 50 percent don’t consume it regularly, citing lack of time as a primary reason.

“Whether you’re pressed for time or you’re simply not hungry in the morning, missing breakfast is a big mistake,” said Dr. John Agwunobi, co-president and chief health and nutrition officer of Herbalife Nutrition. “Having a balanced breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up will help boost mood, provide adequate nutrients to the brain to aid in mental alertness and energy, and stave off hunger throughout the day.”

Of the 8,600 respondents surveyed from the U.S., China and 11 Asia Pacific (APAC) countries, more than 90 percent agreed there are significant benefits to eating breakfast daily. More than 30 percent of respondents felt they would be encouraged to eat breakfast daily if it were “ready-made” and contained necessary nutrients. Weight management was seen as a key consideration in the U.S., with weight loss named among the top three reasons for not eating a daily breakfast.

Breakfast Habits, Times and Frequency 

More than half of all survey respondents are eating breakfast seven days a week, but the percentage by region varies significantly: 55 percent in the U.S., 63 percent in APAC and 81 percent in China. In the U.S. and APAC, males consume breakfast seven days a week more often than females—57 percent compared to 53 percent, and 65 percent compared to 61 percent, respectively. Females in China eat breakfast seven days a week more consistently than males – 84 percent compared to 77 percent.

Eating breakfast seven days a week also increases with age in all three regions:

  • U.S. — 50 percent of Millennials (18-34 years old) vs. 66 percent of Baby Boomers (55+ years old)
  • APAC — 56 percent of Millennials vs. 74 percent of Baby Boomers
  • China — 79 percent of Millennials (22-37 years old) vs. 86 percent of Baby Boomers

 Obstacles to Consuming Breakfast Daily

Findings indicate lack of time as the number one reason preventing respondents from eating breakfast daily, as claimed by more than half of APAC respondents (52 percent), which is higher than both the U.S. (38 percent) and China (44 percent). The second leading factor is a lack of appetite (34 percent in the U.S. and –32 percent in both APAC and China), followed by the perception that eating breakfast is too much work in APAC (16 percent) and China (27 percent). In the U.S., 19 percent of respondents source their desire to lose weight, making it the third most popular reason not to eat breakfast daily.

Respondents in all three regions said the top factors that would encourage them to eat breakfast daily would be more time and options that are readily accessible and convenient.

The survey was conducted between February and March of 2018 in the U.S., China, and APAC countries, including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. More than 8,600 general population respondents participated—1,000 in the U.S.; 2,100 in China; and more than 5,500 in APAC. The results of this survey are accurate at the 95 percent confidence level plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

For results of the Herbalife Nutrition studies, click here.