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March 26, 2008

Mom was right! Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day

On March 25, 2008, The New York Times reported that researchers have found adolescents that eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight.  According to The Times, the authors of the study “found a direct relationship between eating breakfast and body mass index.”  Essentially, the more often a child eats breakfast, the lower the B.M.I.

The five-year longitudinal study was completed by researchers and professors at the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota.  The study examined a racially and economically diverse sample from various public schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

The study, Breakfast Eating and Weight Change in a 5-Year Prospective Analysis of Adolescents: Project EAT (Eating Among Teens) was published in the March issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.   

The study’s objective was to examine the association between breakfast frequency and 5-year body weight change in adolescents.  The study primarily relied on self-reports of weight and eating habits of 2,216 adolescents.  Although the study concluded there is an association between breakfast frequency and change in BMI, the study was unable to determine whether the association is in fact causal in nature.  The study itself recognizes this in noting “long-term studies…will be needed to evaluate the possibility of an important causal link between breakfast consumption and risk for obesity and chronic diseases.”  The study hopes that interventions, especially in a school setting, could be aimed at promoting a healthy breakfast.  Such a breakfast might include whole grain cereals, low-fat milk, and fresh fruit.

Thank you to William Mitchell College of Law student Maureen Ventura for preparing this post.

March 26, 2008 in Children, Food culture, Obesity | Permalink


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