A recent article shows unfavorable biochemical variables associated with skipping breakfast in obese children and adolescents (J Pediatr 2012; 161: 871-4).
After recruiting 174 Brazilian subjects (6-16 years) through advertising, the investigators assessed their body composition with dual-energy-dray adsorptiometry and assessed fasting blood glucose and lipid profiles. Face-to-face interviews with parents determined the frequency of skipped meals. The median BMI in the cohort was 27.
- Skipping breakfast was commonplace. Only 46% of subjects consumed breakfast daily. Skipping lunch or dinner was infrequent, approximately 10% and 22% at times skipped lunch and dinner respectively.
- Consumption of breakfast was inversely correlated with the odds of obesity (OR 0.73).
- Skipping breakfast was correlated with increased glucose, triglycerides, and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol.
The authors speculate that a prolonged period of fasting in the morning could affect ghrelin secretion which promotes increased food intake. In addition, ghrelin could affect pancreatic insulin secretion.
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