Battling Obesity with Breakfast
According to the CDC, children are getting heavier. In the past 30 years, the percent who are overweight has more than doubled (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm). Lots of things have changed in the past 30 years. Many of these changes may have played a role in causing more overweight kids. More TV watching, more internet, less time for exercise—these and other factors have likely played a role.
Another factor might be breakfast; or at least, eating breakfast every day. There is mounting evidence that eating breakfast each day is a habit of children with a healthy weight. The most recent study comes from a group called the ENERGY consortium (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25017807). The study has a sample of nearly eight thousand children from ages 10 to 12 who live in eight European countries.
First, the height and weight of the children was measured; in fact, to ensure accuracy, they were measured twice. Then the kids reported their breakfast habits. The kids were put into two groups: 1) those who ate breakfast each day, and 2) those who usually skipped breakfast one or more days a week.
What did they find? They found that children who skipped breakfast were more likely to be overweight. As an example, consider Switzerland, where the rate of being overweight is fairly low. Among the children in Switzerland who ate a daily breakfast, only 11% were overweight; but among those who skipped breakfast at least one day a week, 21% were overweight.
Overall, the evidence seems to be mounting that eating breakfast every day is a healthy choice for kids to make.
The ONIE Project Suggests trying Ham & Veggie Frittata.
Tips/NotesYou can mix & match veggies for this recipe; a great way to use holiday leftovers!
Dr. Dave Kerby
Manios, Y. M., George; Androutsos, Odysseas; Filippou, Christina; Van Lippevelde, Wendy, Vik, Froydis N.; Je te Velde, Saskia; jan, Natasha; Dössegger, Alain; Bere, Elling; Molnar, Denes; Moreno, Luis A.; Chinapaw, Mai JM.; Bourdeaudhuij; Brug, Johannes (2014). "Family sociodemographic characteristics as correlates of children's breakfast habits and weight status in eight European countries. The ENERGY (EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth) project " Public Health Nutrition 18(5): 774-783.