Analee Gale

Study: We’re still putting breakfast in the too hard basket

According to a recent study of the Asia-Pacific region, if you skipped breakfast this morning, you’re part of a massive problem. 



A new survey by Herbalife has found that despite understanding the health benefits of eating breakfast, Asia Pacific consumers would be more motivated to eat breakfast every day if it was more readily accessible or convenient.

Herbalife has released the findings from its Asia Pacific Healthy Breakfast Survey, which shares insights into the breakfast attitudes and consumption habits among consumers in the region.




The survey involved more than 5,500 people across 11 markets including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The findings revealed that while the majority of respondents understand the important role that a healthy breakfast plays for optimum wellbeing and weight management, many still face obstacles to daily consumption due to inconvenience and lack of accessibility, such as:

  • lack of time (52%);
  • lack of feelings of hunger in the morning (32%);
  • consuming breakfast requiring too much preparation (16%).

When asked what motivations would help them eat breakfast more regularly:

  • 41% of respondents said “having more time”;
  • 40% said “making breakfast more convenient and easy”;
  • 38% said “having a breakfast readily accessible”.

Stephen Conchie, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Herbalife said, “I am glad to see that most Asia Pacific consumers are aware of the importance of eating breakfast. At Herbalife, 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.

“However, the survey also 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,” Conchie added.


The benefits of breakfast

The survey findings revealed that 79% feel breakfast is very or extremely important to them, and 68% affirm it as the most important meal of their day. This is ahead of the 15% who chose lunch, and the 16% who chose dinner as their most important meal of the day.

When asked about the benefits of consuming breakfast:

  • 96% of respondents said “it gives them energy in the morning”;
  • 89% said “it contributes to their personal wellbeing”;
  • 89% said “it kickstarts their metabolism in the morning”.

With regards to their breakfast consumption habits:

  • 71% make it a priority to eat their breakfast at home;
  • 13% eat their breakfast at work;
  • 10% eat their breakfast on the way to work;
  • Only 6% of respondents do not eat breakfast.


So what are Asia Pacific consumers eating for breakfast?

According to Herbalife’s Nutrition Philosophy, the calorie intake for every meal should be made up of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fats, along with 25g of fibre and eight glasses of water daily to promote overall wellbeing. However, the survey findings indicated that with regards to nutrient composition, 40% of respondents believe protein is the most important nutrient in their breakfast, yet carbohydrates still make up most of the calories consumed at the start of the day. In fact, carbohydrate-laden foods such as bread or toast (49%), rice and noodles (46%) and hot beverages (46%) top the list of breakfast foods regularly consumed by Asia Pacific consumers.


Analee Gale

Analee Gale is the Food & Health Editor of TBS. Previous to that, she was a freelance writer and editor who has spent so many decades writing about being food and fitness that she sometimes forgets to actually be fit (though she never ever forgets to eat food - hangry is a thing, you know!). Analee made a tree-change from the northern beaches of Sydney, so she now taps out tales from her base in a tiny coastal town in East Gippsland, Victoria.

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