Skipping breakfast linked to weight gain

By Tom Fortner • Published: June 5th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

It’s a scene repeated in countless movies and TV shows… Late-for-school teenager barrels through the family kitchen, pulling on his backpack as he heads for the door. “No time for breakfast, I’ll be late,” says the teen, while mom and dad helplessly look on.

It turns out the scenario has an unexpected twist. University of Minnesota say the more often teenagers skip breakfast, the more likely they are to be overweight.

More than two-thousand teens who participated in a five-year study kept a diary of what they ate, when they ate, how often they exercised and social influences that might affect eating behavior.

Those who consistently skipped breakfast had a higher body mass index and grew heavier over time, compared with their peers who ate breakfast. The difference in B-M-I between those who skipped and those who didn’t was about eight percent.

Although half the teenagers missed the meal from time to time, girls were more likely to skip it consistently and boys were more likely to eat it every day.

Researchers are not sure why breakfast skippers gained weight. Breakfast eaters got more of their calories from carbohydrates and fiber-rich foods and fewer calories from fat, and they exercised more. Nutritionists speculate the teens who ate breakfast had a higher metabolism and more energy to burn off the additional calories. They also think the skippers were more likely to snack on unhealthy foods.

The moral of the story: Obey your mom and eat a healthy breakfast.