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The well known saying ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper’ is not being heeded by one in four of the UK population, who appear to be missing out on the first meal of the day.

A survey* commissioned by Express by Holiday Inn of nearly 2000 adults across the UK has shown that a quarter of people (26%) are not eating breakfast, despite increasing numbers of studies showing the importance of breakfast when it comes to mental and physical health**. The situation is most marked in the West Midlands, where one in three people go without breakfast every morning. The age group most likely to skip breakfast are 15 to 24 year olds, with only 37% managing to have breakfast every day in comparison to 80% of over 65s who have a healthy meal every morning.

Younger people could be less likely to have breakfast due to the fact that 41% of this group say they have never had breakfast as part of a family routine and are therefore less likely to start doing so now. The Welsh scored highest in this area, with 44% of people in Wales currently having breakfast as a family.

Those of us who do eat breakfast appear to be making healthy choices, with 53% going for a healthy option of cereal, fruit or yogurt. Yorkshire is one of the healthiest regions, with 69% of people making this choice. On a somewhat less healthy note, almost a quarter of Londoners are starting the day with just a cup of tea or coffee inside them and a small but worrying 3% of people in London are snacking on leftover takeaways from the night before.

As the only premium budget hotel to provide a complimentary breakfast with all room bookings, Express by Holiday Inn commissioned the survey to get an understanding of current attitudes to breakfast. A spokesperson from Express by Holiday Inn:

“There is no doubt that anyone, whether they’re at home or staying away, needs a good breakfast, which is why Express by Holiday Inn has always offered its guests a complimentary continental breakfast. Whilst three quarters of people do manage to eat a good breakfast, there are still a significant minority who perhaps don’t appreciate the health and energy benefits it brings. It has been fascinating to see the differences in eating habits between the age groups and some distinct contrasts in behaviour across the UK.”

There are nearly 100 Express by Holiday Inns around the UK, offering leisure and business travellers high quality facilities including licensed bar and lounge area, complimentary continental breakfast, power showers in all rooms and in-hotel meeting facilities. More details can be found at or by calling 0800 434040.


Media enquiries:
Sarah Chapman or Laura Derry, Dig For Fire PR
Tel: 0114 267 1967
Fax: 0114 266 4527
Email: or

*In home interviews of 1919 adults, weighted to represent all sub-sectors of the population, were conducted by Capibus (Computer Assisted Personal Interview), Europe’s number one weekly omnibus, from 2-8 April 2004.

** 1) Missing breakfast leads to a decline in cognitive function throughout the morning. A study of 29 schoolchildren aged 9 to 16 years showed that hunger and desire to eat were low after cereals were consumed in the morning. Wesnes K A et al (2003). Appetite; 41:329-331.

2) Cereal consumption is associated with a healthy BMI and nutrient intake. A study by Albertson A M et al (2003) of 603 children aged 4 to 12 in the US showed that frequency of cereal consumption had a significant inverse relationship with BMI and risk of being overweight. There was an inverse relationship between cereal consumption and daily fat and cholesterol intakes. Journal of the American Dietetic Association; 103: 1613-1619.

Note to Editors:

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC of the United Kingdom [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world’s most global hotel company and the largest by number of rooms.
InterContinental Hotels Group owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, more than 3,500 hotels and 535,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world ( The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn ® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, and Candlewood Suites®, and also has a controlling interest in Britvic, the second largest soft drinks manufacturer in the UK.

InterContinental Hotels Group offers information and reservations capability on the Internet - for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, for Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, for Holiday Inn hotels, for Holiday Inn Express hotels, for Staybridge Suites by Holiday Inn hotels, and for Candlewood Suites, and for the Group’s rewards programme,

For the latest news from InterContinental Hotels Group, visit our online Press Office at

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