An article published in Scientific reports describes how researchers affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo (FM-USP) in Brazil and colleagues from institutions in Europe have evaluated the behaviors leading to weight gain in adolescents. Childhood obesity can promote the premature emergence of health problems such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The main finding is that skipping breakfast, a common teenage habit, is directly correlated to an increase in waist circumference and body mass index in this age group. This habit can lead to unhealthy eating and other unhealthy behaviors, which can make teens vulnerable to weight gain.
"We found that skipping breakfast was associated with adolescents' adiposity markers, regardless of where they lived and how they slept, whether they were men or women." said epidemiologist Elsie Costa de Oliveira Forkert, a member of the Youth / Child. Cardiovascular and Environmental Risk Research Group (YCARE) within the Department of Preventive Medicine of FM-USP.
"By skipping breakfast, millions of kids and teens around the world are probably replacing healthier home-made meals including dairy products, wholegrain cereals and fruits by fast foods in one. place close to the school or to the school itself, "Forkert said.
"This usually means consuming high-calorie, high-calorie foods, such as snacks, pastries, sodas and other sugary drinks, all of which are directly associated with the development of obesity."
The study was part of Forkert's postdoctoral research, supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP. Institutional scientists in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain collaborated.
Analyzing data from two major surveys conducted in Europe and Brazil, scientists evaluated the association between energy balance behaviors in adolescence and markers of total and abdominal adiposity.
European data come from the cross-sectional study "Healthy lifestyle in Europe according to nutrition in adolescence" (HELENA-CSS, 2006-07), which involved 3,528 adolescents in 10 major cities. The subjects were between 12.5 and 17.5 years old and stratified by age, sex, region and socio-economic status. Men and women each accounted for about half of the study population (47.7% and 52.3%, respectively). The principal investigator was Luis Alberto Moreno, professor at the School of Health Sciences of the University of Zaragoza in Spain.
Brazilian data come from a survey called "Brazilian Cardiovascular Adolescent Health" (BRACAH). Using a similar methodology, this survey was conducted in 2007 in Maringá, the third largest city in Paraná. It involved 991 adolescents aged 14 to 18 years. Men accounted for 45.5% and women 54.5% of the study population. Adolescents were evaluated for cardiovascular risk factors and health-related behaviors.
The principal investigator of this investigation was Augusto Cesar Ferreira de Moraes, professor in the Department of Epidemiology of the School of Public Health of the University of São Paulo (FSP-USP).
The new study analyzed data on weight, height, and body mass index as indicators of overall obesity and waist-to-waist ratios as indicators of abdominal obesity.
"Energy balance behaviors were measured with the help of a questionnaire covering levels of physical activity at school or at home, during hobbies or at home. daily commutes, etc. About 60 minutes or more of physical activity per day or more was found to be adequate, this was considered insufficient, "said Forkert.
According to Forkert, sedentary behaviors were analyzed in terms of usual screen time (television, computer, video games), and subjects were asked to specify the number of hours they usually slept on weekdays and weekends.
A separate questionnaire was used to explore attitudes and concerns about food choices, preferences, healthy eating habits and lifestyle. It included a specific question about breakfast, which asked the subjects to agree or disagree (more or less strongly on a scale of seven to seven) with the statement "I often skip breakfast."
Scientists used data from these surveys to determine whether adolescents who skipped breakfast had on average higher adiposity markers than those who did not.
"Of all the energy balance behaviors analyzed, the strongest correlation was observed between skipping breakfast and increasing the average number of obesity markers," Forkert said.
Sedentary habits and more calories
Data from the European and Brazilian surveys showed that male teens were on average heavier and taller and that their waist circumference was wider than that of women.
"For the boys who skipped breakfast, the average waist circumference was 2.61 cm wider in Europe and 2.13 cm taller in Brazil than the boys who usually had breakfast", said Forkert.
"On the other hand, when we examined the influence of sleep time on the association between other behaviors and markers of obesity, we found that the index average body mass for European and Brazilian boys who skipped breakfast was 1.29 kg / m² and 1.69 kg / m² m² more, respectively, than those who ate even when they slept enough [eight hours or more per day]. "
For European and Brazilian boys, skipping breakfast was the predominant behavior related to energy balance, positively correlated with obesity indicators such as body mass index, waist circumference and the size-size ratio.
"It was the same for European girls, skipping breakfast was positively correlated with total and abdominal obesity, even when sleep time was adequate," Forkert said. "For example, the average waist circumference increased by 1.97 cm and the height / height ratio was 0.02 higher."
In Brazil, girls were more sedentary than boys. In Europe, sedentary habits were less prevalent among girls than boys, but they were also less physically active, although they were more active than Brazilian boys. The sedentary behaviors of these girls (more than two hours a day) resulted in an increase in waist circumference (an average of 1.20 m), even when the sleep time was sufficient.
"However, among Brazilian boys who slept less than eight hours a day, less sleep was protecting against total obesity, which dropped by 0.93 kg / m² on average," Forkert said.
"Teens with more sedentary habits who spend more time watching television, using a computer or playing video games are likely to have an unbalanced diet and consume unhealthy foods while watching TV or playing", she added. "Sedentary behaviors associated with a relatively high calorie consumption lead directly to obesity."
Study examines which schoolchildren are most likely to skip breakfast
Elsie C. O. Forkert et al., Skip breakfast is associated with adiposity markers, especially when adequate sleep time is in adolescents. Scientific reports (2019). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-019-42859-7
Teenagers who skip breakfast may develop obesity (July 23, 2019)
recovered on July 23, 2019
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