Eat Breakfast to Lose Weight
People who eat breakfast every day tend to have better health than those who skip breakfast. Despite this fact, teens are skipping breakfast more often. Back in 1965, a national survey of American teens found that eating breakfast every day was a common habit: about 88% of teens said they ate breakfast every day. But now, about one in three teens go to school without eating breakfast.
At the same time that skipping breakfast has become more common among teens, the number of overweight teens has been rising. No doubt, there are many reasons for the upswing in overweight teens. But could one reason be skipping breakfast? There is evidence to think it could be one reason.
For example, consider a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association of more than five thousand teens ages 14 to 18 . Only 68% of teens said they ate breakfast each day. Among regular breakfast eaters, one popular habit was to have a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal. Teens who skipped breakfast had a relatively high rate of obesity—about 21%. By contrast, teens who ate a ready-to-eat cereal every morning had a lower rate of obesity—only 13%.
The difference showed up in the waist, too. Those who skipped breakfast were nearly an inch and a half larger around the waist. In short, it is possible that for many teens, starting the day with breakfast helps them manage their weight. There seems to be no downside to a daily breakfast, and it may be good for getting teens started on a lifetime of healthy weight. So all in all, a daily breakfast seems like a good idea.
Dr. Dave Kerby
1. Deshmukh-Taskar, P. R., Nicklas, T. A., O'Neil, C. E., Keast, D. R., Radcliffe, J. D., & Cho, S. (2010). The Relationship of Breakfast Skipping and Type of Breakfast Consumption with Nutrient Intake and Weight Status in Children and Adolescents: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2006. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110(6), 869-878. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2010.03.023