12 September 2005

Breakfast and Obesity.

Many teenage girls skip breakfast in an effort to keep their weight down. This is a bad strategy.

Girls who regularly ate breakfast, particularly one that includes cereal, were slimmer than those who skipped the morning meal, according to a study that tracked nearly 2,400 girls for 10 years.


Breakfast consumption dropped as the girls aged, the researchers found, and those who did not eat breakfast tended to eat higher fat foods later in the day.

"We think it kick-starts your metabolism because you've eaten something," Barton said. "When you get to lunch you're not starving and you can make reasonable choices for lunch and dinner."

John Kirwan, a professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University's Schwartz Center for Nutrition and Metabolism, said the findings may be "more reflective of overall eating habits and quality of food consumed."

"Those who eat breakfast on a regular basis are more likely to have a structured eating plan throughout the day and consequently are less likely to snack between meals and consume empty calories," said Kirwan, who has studied the effect of breakfast consumption on exercise performance and was not involved in the study.

In short, eating good food prevents people from eating bad food. I suspect that the lesson is a generally applicable one. Teenage girls aren't the only people who skip breakfast and probably aren't the only ones who get fat from the snacks that follow.

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