ENC Newsletter February 2014

Welcome to the first edition of The Good Egg for 2014!

The Egg Nutrition Council looks forward to keeping you up to date with eggs, nutrition and health related issues throughout the year with regular editions of The Good Egg, presence at various health professional conferences and updates to our eggs and health position statements. Research is growing around the benefits of an egg based breakfast and with only 6% of children eating eggs for breakfast on any given day, eggs provide a way to vary the breakfast meal, while also providing at least 10% of the RDI for 11 different vitamins and minerals. Read our lead article to find out more about kids breakfast eating habits and see below for recent research briefs.

Wishing you good health throughout 2014!
The Egg Nutrition Council

Published: 18 March 2014

Benefits of Eggs at Breakfast for Kids


Results of the 2013 Australian Bureau of Statistics CensusAtSchool survey show almost 15% of school age children skip breakfast daily with the highest rates of breakfast skipping occurring in the Northern Territory (22.3%) and the Australian Capital Territory (20.1%)1.  These results indicate that in some parts of Australia, 1 in 5 children are going to school without breakfast. Foods that children most commonly report eating at breakfast are shown in table 1.


Table 1: Foods consumed at breakfast by Australian school children


Percentage Consuming

Breakfast cereal


Bread and bread products


Did not eat breakfast


Milk or milk products




Fruit or fruit juice






Meat or meat products


Noodles or rice


Baked beans/spaghetti


Breakfast bar


Soft drink


Lollies/potato chips



While cereal is the most popular breakfast choice, recent research shows <10% of children consume cereals that are very high in fibre2. In addition, while eating breakfast has been shown to improve cognitive performance3 and motor functional skills4 in school children the type of cereal consumed and it’s glycemic index may be important factors in maintaining these positive health benefits5.  In addition, many popular children’s cereals are low in protein and a high protein breakfast, compared to a high carbohydrate breakfast has been shown to increase feelings of satiety over the morning in adults6.  Results in this area with children however are mixed.


There is a lack of research evaluating the health and nutritional benefits of an egg based breakfast for children. However, one recent study in men,  compared three types of breakfasts for their effects on subjective ratings of satiety, hunger, fullness and desire to eat. The breakfasts consisted of eggs on toast, cereal (cornflakes) with milk and toast, or a croissant and orange juice.  Results showed increased satiety, less hunger and a lower desire to eat after the breakfast containing eggs relative to the cereal, and croissant-based meals. The egg breakfast was also accompanied by a significantly lower intake of energy relative to the croissant- and cereal-based breakfasts at a subsequent buffet lunch and evening meal, respectively. This study highlightsthe importance of food choice at breakfast as a means of increasing satiety in the morning and reducing energy intake at lunch which may have particular benefits for addressing childhood obesity.  This, however, requires confirmation through further research.


In the meantime, 2 eggs on 2 slices of wholemeal toast provides 60% of the average RDI for protein, 30% of the RDI for vitamin A, 38% of the RDI for thiamin, 51% of the RDI for riboflavin, 47% of the RDI for iron and 22% of the average AI for dietary fibre for 9-13 year olds, therefore providing a nutrient dense breakfast choice for school aged kids.




1 Australian Bureau of Statistics. CensusAtSchool.  (2013).  http://www.abs.gov.au/censusatschool.

2 Grieger, J. A. et al. Nutr Diet (2013) 70, 132-138.

3 Wesnes, K. A. et al. A. Appetite (2012) 59, 646-649

4  Baldinger, N. et al. J Am Coll Nutr (2012) 31, 87-93.

5  Ingwersen, J. et al. Appetite (2007) 49, 240-244.

6  Vander Wal, J. S. et al. J Am Coll Nutr (2005) 24, 510-515.



Nutritional benefits of eggs


This conference report summarises the proceedings of a meeting held by the Royal Society of Medicine in May 2013.  Experts at the meeting discussed the areas of eggs and cardiovascular disease and eggs and allergy. It was concluded that egg consumption does not translate into significant risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and that there is no reliable recommendation to restrict egg intake in those with higher risk of CVD.  Experts also agreed that avoidance of eggs during pregnancy does not prevent egg allergy in the child and that evidence exists indicating consumption of small amounts of egg in baked foods may increase tolerance in children with existing egg allergy.(1)


The role of egg yolk in egg allergic children


This study examined the reaction to both egg white and egg yolk in children with egg allergy.  Fifty two children with known egg allergy and an average age of 4 years participated.  Skin-prick tests were conducted with whole egg, egg white and egg yolk preparations.  The findings showed that all children reacted to whole egg and egg white tests and 78% of the children reacted to egg yolk.  The authors concluded that egg yolk allergy appears to be more common than previously assumed. (2)


Updated guideline for reducing risk of heart disease


Updated guidelines on lifestyle recommendations for reducing the risk of heart disease have been published by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology.  The guidelines highlight that dietary patterns are associated with lower risk of heart diseases rather than  individual nutrients or supplements.  The guidelines strongly recommend a balanced dietary pattern, a reduction in salt intake and limitation of sweets, sugar-sweetened drinks and red meats.  The authors also concluded that a diet low in saturated and trans fats is recommended for lowering LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol).  However there is insufficient evidence in the current literature to support a reduction in dietary cholesterol as a strategy to reduce LDL-cholesterol.(3)



1.       Gray J and Griffin BA. Nutr Bull 2013;38:438-449 

2.         Brossard C, et al. Clin Trans Allergy 2013:3(Supp 3):p86

3.       Eckel RH, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013; doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2013.11.003


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