Imprimir Republish


The benefits of breakfast

Léo Ramos

Skipping the morning meal stimulates obesityLéo Ramos

Obese children and adolescents often skip meals because they lack proper eating habits or because they are overweight. This is not a recommended practice – and skipping breakfast is particularly unhealthy. A study conducted by researchers from Paulista State University (Unesp), from Oeste Paulista University (Unoeste) and from the State University of Londrina (UEL) has indicated that skipping a meal, especially breakfast, could be related to higher levels of glucose and lipids in children. The study analyzed 174 sedentary and obese children and adolescents (80 boys and 94 girls), aged 6 to 16, from the city of Presidente Prudente, in the State of São Paulo (Journal of Pediatrics, June 7, 2012). Less than one half of the boys and girls ate breakfast, the meal they skipped most frequently (only 10% of them skipped lunch and about 20% skipped dinner). The researchers believe that children who skip breakfast spend an overly long time span without eating. This bad habit alters the neuroendocrine mechanism and stimulates the stomach’s production of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone. Thus, excess production of ghrelin is believed to stir up their appetite during other meals. If the children eat more during the day, they will possibly have higher levels of sugar and fat in their blood than the blood fat and sugar levels of people who eat three meals a day. The bottom line is that skipping breakfast could be a factor leading to obesity.