"Skip" breakfast is related to an increase in obesity indicators among young people. This is the main conclusion of a study published in the journal Scientific reports. The research was conducted by researchers from the University of São Paulo's medical faculty (USP) in partnership with European researchers.
Based on studies of boys and girls aged 12 to 18, the study identified the relationship between breakfast abolition and elevated body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and waist / height ratio – obesity-related indicators.
For the studies, 3,528 young Europeans and 991 Brazilians reported their habits. The data was matched with the participants' weight measurements. In view of the youth sleep time, the effect of breakfast, the time in front of the screens and the lack of energetic physical activity on the obesity indicators were calculated.
"Even sleep well if the teenager skips breakfast, increases weight and waist volume. The behavior of skipping breakfast was associated with an increase in these (obesity) markers very markedly," explained one of the authors of the study, epidemiologist Elsie Costa de Oliveira Wrong, from the Cardiovascular and Environmental Risk Research Group, the USP School of Medicine.
According to Elsie, the effect of the breakfast factor on obesity rates was even greater than the effect of other behaviors assessed by the study – such as screen time and lack of training. Previous studies had already pointed to the importance of today's first meal in youth development. The inclusion of breakfast in the diet is not the only measure that protects against obesity – it is another factor for a healthy life.
It is estimated that 20% of teenagers do not eat breakfast. Among girls, behavior is even more common – 44.5% of European and 37.8% of Brazilian. Among boys, the rate falls to 35.9% and 34.6%, respectively. For Elsie, the difference may be related to the pursuit of thinness for aesthetic purposes.
But limitations have the opposite effect. "By not getting food, the body releases hormones against regulators. It understands that the reserve is small and lasts a little longer," Elsie says. Another reason is that if the kid leaves to eat at noon, he chooses low-calorie and more nutritious foods, which contributes to weight gain.
Day by day
“What I see in everyday life is that many do not eat breakfast, but eat in school. And when they buy, it's not the best option, it's a ready-made sandwich, soda, chocolate and sugary milk, fruit juice sweetened when not buying drumsticks, spurts, ”says endocrinologist Mario Kehdi Carra, president of the Brazilian Association for Inquiry of obesity and metabolic syndrome (Abeso).
But families report difficulties in tackling adolescents' lack of appetite early in the day. "Most of the time I only drink milk. I even try to eat, but I'm not hungry," says 14-year-old student Pietro Affonso. "I can even feel hungry during the class, so I'm fooling on the snack (pâté bread)."
According to Andressa Heimbecher, an endocrinologist in the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology, parents have to examine the cause of hunger – for example, it may be associated with a very calorie dinner or even reflux problems. For her, coffee at home is also advantageous from another point of view. This is the time when parents can observe how their children eat and suggest changes. “Children's eating behavior is the parent's mirror. If he does not sit down to drink coffee, do not convey the example. "
– One more factor
The inclusion of breakfast in the diet is not the only measure that protects against obesity – it is another factor for a healthy life.
Breakfast should account for about 25% of daily calories and should be balanced with proteins, carbohydrates and fiber sources.
– Family of
Children and adolescents should be involved in the preparation and it is recommended that parents and children use a habit of eating together.
Even overweight children should not forget the meal. After consultation with a professional, the portions can be reduced and diversified.