Eating Breakfast Tied to Lower BMI in Postpartum Teens

Teens who eat breakfast regularly choose healthier snacks, consume fewer calories

THURSDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Postpartum teens who eat breakfast on most days consume fewer calories from snacks and sweetened drinks, and have a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who tend to skip breakfast, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Debra Haire-Joshu, Ph.D., of Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues investigated the relationship between breakfast consumption, snack and beverage intake, and BMI among postpartum teens. In the Parents as Teachers Teen Program, 1,330 postpartum teens completed a seven-day recall of breakfast, snack, and beverage consumption. After calculating the teens' BMIs, the information was used to assess the relationships between breakfast consumption, snack and sweetened-drink intake, water intake, and BMI-for-age percentile.

The researchers found that 42 percent of the teens surveyed ate breakfast fewer than two days per week. Those postpartum teens who ate breakfast six to seven days per week ate 1,197 fewer kilocalories each week from sweetened and salted snacks, drank 1,337 fewer kilocalories per week from sweetened drinks, and had a lower BMI compared to teens who ate breakfast fewer than two days per week. Teens who ate breakfast regularly also tended to snack on healthier foods and drinks, including fruits, vegetables, milk, water, and cereal.

"Strategies to increase breakfast consumption in this group are needed not only to prevent weight retention and obesity, but also to enable these young parents to be positive role models for their children," the authors write.

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