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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Understanding the breakfast habits of Filipinos

It is said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and majority of Filipinos agree. However, lack of time and other obstacles push them to skip it.

These are just some of the findings of Herbalife Nutrition’s Asia Pacific Healthy Breakfast Survey, which uncovered insights into the breakfast attitudes and consumption habits among 5,500 respondents across 11 markets in the region, which included 500 from the Philippines. 

FIRST MEAL OF THE DAY. According to a recent survey, majority of Filipinos agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, however, lack of time and other obstacles push them to skip it. 

According to the survey conducted in February, majority or 69 percent of Filipinos consider breakfast extremely important, with 86 percent choosing it as the most important meal of the day. In comparison, only 11 percent of respondents opt for lunch and 2 percent favor dinner. 

Looking closely at the breakfast habits of consumers in the Philippines, the survey found that 84 percent of respondents do make it a priority to eat their first and most important meal of the day at home, with 67 percent doing so within one to two hours of waking. The rest would just grab their breakfast either at work (10 percent) or on the way to work (4 percent). Only 2 percent of Pinoys do not eat breakfast.

 Among all breakfast options available today, carbohydrate-heavy food items such as bread or toast, paired with hot beverages, top the list of breakfast foods regularly consumed. On the other hand, 41 percent of respondents consider protein as the most important nutrient needed in their breakfast. 

Key findings of Herbalife’s Asia Pacific Healthy Breakfast Survey

“It is heartening to see that most Asia Pacific consumers are aware of the importance of eating breakfast,” enthused Herbalife Nutrition Philippines country manager Rosalio Valenzuela. 

He added, “At Herbalife Nutrition we believe that there are many benefits of eating a healthy breakfast daily. A healthy breakfast with balanced nutrition not only provides the much-needed nutrients for the day, but also has wide-ranging benefits in the long run, including supporting healthy metabolism, better brain health, and improved weight management.”

While the survey revealed that a good majority is eating breakfast, it also found that many encounter obstacles in making breakfast a daily habit. The primary barrier, according to the survey, is “lack of time” (44 percent).

“The survey revealed that many are still not consuming breakfast daily. One can easily overcome the obstacles by waking up 15 minutes earlier to prepare something fast such as a protein shake. Eating a healthy breakfast regularly can really set the stage for healthier eating all day long, and promote and maintain a lifetime of wellness,” posited Valenzuela.

The other two barriers in consuming breakfast are “lack of feelings of hunger in the morning (30 percent), and “trying to maintain my weight” (18 percent).

Herbalife Formula 1 and Healthy Meal shakes provide up to 21 essential vitamins and minerals in one glass. Photo by Mae Gianina C. Pascual

When asked what would motivate them to eat breakfast, 54 percent of the respondents said “If my breakfast contributes to my health and well-being” and “If breakfast helps give me more energy.” Other motivating factors include making breakfast “readily accessible” (53 percent) and having something that is “more convenient and easy” (48 percent).

Assuming that the 18 percent of those who skip breakfast to maintain weight are doing the Intermittent Fasting or IF, which only allows an 8-hour window for eating—usually from noon time until evening—and 16 hours for fasting, Dr. Chin Kun Wang, a member of Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board, emphasized that fasting should not equate to total calorie loss. 

He cited the importance of eating a healthy breakfast in promoting well-being and in managing weight, thus he suggested eating small portions instead to reduce calorie intake than doing a rigorous diet routine. He also recommended that there should be 20 to 25 grams of protein consumed in every meal. 

According to the Herbalife Nutrition Philosophy, every meal consumed should have a calorie intake breakdown of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fats. Carbohydrates should include, at the very least, some fruits or vegetables. 

Consuming a healthy breakfast can have wide-ranging benefits on the human body, including supporting the body’s metabolism, better brain health, improved mental alertness, muscle mass maintenance, and improved digestion, among others. 

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