Saturday, April 12, 2008

Secret to Keeping Teenagers Slim

The BBC News reports an interesting and counterintuitive secret to keeping teens from becoming overweight - eat breakfast. The article called Breakfast 'keeps teenagers lean' claims...
The University of Minnesota research adds weight to a growing body of evidence that those who eat breakfast - whether young or old - are leaner than those who do not.

"It may seem counter-intuitive," said Mark Pereira, who led the research. "But while they ate more calories, they did more to burn those off, and that may be because those who ate breakfast did not feel so lethargic.

"While it's best to go for a healthy option - a wholegrain cereal for instance - the evidence does seem to suggest that eating anything is better than eating nothing at all."

Mixed messages

Around 25% of the group studied regularly missed breakfast, and the problem was particularly pronounced among young women.

"It's not just a girl problem, but it is certainly more of an issue among this group," said Mr Pereira.

"They skip breakfast because they worry about weight gain - and it's ironic that the ones who aren't worried and eat in the mornings are the ones who keep their weight down."

Tam Fry, chairman of the Child Growth Foundation at the National Obesity Forum, said the findings of the study showed just how important it was to relay a clear and consistent message to young people.

"The real problem is the profusion of messages about obesity. We need to make clear that eating regular meals is vital - and that a proper breakfast is very important.

"If you eat well first thing, you'll feel brighter, you'll have more get up and go - and that will mean you'll expend more energy."

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