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I filled out a survey yesterday for the university which employs me, an anonymous survey, approved by the appropriate research oversight committee. I was doing okay with the question wording until I came to a question about breakfast. It asked "How many times per week do you eat breakfast? (A roll and coffee does not count.)"

If a roll and coffee doesn't count as breakfast, what does? Not a breakfast bar or a stack of buttered pancakes or a doughnut surely, since those are about as substantial and varied as eating a roll. Does a bagel and cream cheese count? Cereal and milk? A piece of fruit? Fruit salad? Does it have to be a full fry-up? Would two rolls count? Would orange juice instead of coffee make it count as breakfast?

Breakfast: Today, I have no idea it is or how often I eat it.



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 8th, 2008 10:34 am (UTC)
Of course it counts! You've covered all the major food groups!
Oct. 8th, 2008 10:28 am (UTC)
I suspect that a) they are talking about cooked breakfast and b) they are wrong, especially as that would mean that I only ever eat breakfast when staying in hotels! Also c) "a roll and coffee" strikes me as a very American-sounding phrase, and it seems odd that they would pick it. I can't think of any native English people who would habitually have "a roll and coffee" in the morning. Tea and toast, rather.

(This icon is of my habitual breakfast [grin])
Oct. 8th, 2008 10:33 am (UTC)
My employer is American, which helps explain the American phrase, but thank you for the observation - I hadn't thought of it that way.

The problem with assuming a "hot" breakfast is where do you draw the line? Porridge is about on par with a hearty roll. Buttered pancakes (American style or not) may be hot, but they're just a medium-sized batch of carbs too. I've had very insubstantial portions of salmon-and-scrambled eggs before.

(And if that's what you need for breakfast, there's nothing wrong with it!)
Oct. 8th, 2008 10:43 am (UTC)
I do usually eat something as well and feel better if I do, but lots of tea and a ciggie or two are the things that are actually *necessary*.

And yes, it's a silly definition. It's annoying me too now, I can't work it out either [grin]
Oct. 8th, 2008 10:50 am (UTC)
Maybe they mean a sit-down meal as opposed to something eaten on the bus? So not so much about the nutritional content, but whether you take the time to sit down at the table to eat your toast and tea or whatever?
Oct. 8th, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)
They probably mean what I remember the back of cereal boxes showing as a proper balanced breakfast when I was a kid - cereal, toast and orange juice. I've never been able to figure out why you need both toast and cereal.

My default breakfast is whatever someone puts in front of me. I'm not awake enough first thing in the morning to be trusted with things like pouring boiling water.
Oct. 8th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
I believe I would ignore the unhelpful comment in brackets and plough on.

How silly!
Oct. 8th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
Clearly you need to be picking up a bacon butty every day!

Oh, I *miss* bacon butties...
Oct. 8th, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
If a roll and coffee doesn't count as breakfast, what does?

In the absence of further explanation, I would assume that the list of exceptions is exhaustive. All things that are not a roll and coffee are breakfast.

To avoid invalidating your breakfast, it may be necessary to let a certain amount of time elapse between eating a roll and drinking coffee. I am told that organised religion has had to address similar dietary problems in the past; I suggest consulting a rabbi for further guidance.

How many times per week do you eat breakfast?

I always eat my breakfast exactly once. This question is only important for cows and other ruminant mammals.
Oct. 8th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
Breakfast is so good, you should eat it three times over ...
To be fair to the quiz, I'm the kind of person for whom a roll and a coffee certainly doesn't count as breakfast. That would last me until about 09:30, at which point I'd crash from hunger and caffeine shock. A few slices of toast or standard bowl of cereal (including porridge) is no better.

A large bowl of porridge and some fresh fruit is the minimum - a metric cup of home-made muesli soaked overnight in water and served with fresh ground flaxseeds is even better!

I know some people can't face much until noon, but getting your nine portions a day is important ...
Oct. 8th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
What about a Croissant and Coffee?
I mean, it's the breakfast of choice for an entire European nation :)

Oct. 8th, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
This reminds me of an interview with Madonna I watched a few years ago. She said something like, "I can eat whatever I want, I just work out to stay healthy." And the reporter asked what she had for breakfast, "Half a bagel." Until I got pregnant I could not have imagined being full or satisfied after half a bagel! (Right now, an apple and three spoonfuls of yoghurt suffices!)
Oct. 9th, 2008 06:59 am (UTC)
This week we have been mostly eating porridge. We have got into the habit of eating deviled eggs on toast on either Saturday or Sunday - the weekend is only when we have time for a proper job cooked breakfast.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )