Adolescents who skip breakfasts are more likely to be obese – study

Adolescence is an important stage in the lives of both parents and adolescents themselves. It is the transition stage between childhood and adulthood. Incidentally, it is also the stage that the foundation for many diseases that occur in later life is laid.

Not too surprising, therefore, that certain behaviors of adolescents have been found to serve as risk factors for the development of some diseases in adult life.

According to WHO,”the changes in adolescence have health consequence not only in adolescence but also over the life-course.”

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo’s Medical School (FM-USP) in Brazil, in partnership with colleagues in Europe, assessed behaviours that encouraged weight gain in adolescence.

Their findings were published in Scientific Reports, “an open-access, multi-disciplinary journal from Nature Research dedicated to constructive, inclusive and rigorous peer review.”

The major finding by the evaluators was that skipping breakfast has direct relationship with increased waist circumference and body mass index in the age group.

Waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) are indicators that are well recognized for the assessment of obesity and its risks in different populations.

BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. It is calculated by dividing the weight of an individual in kilogrammes by the square of the height of that person in metres ( weight[kg]/height(m2).

The Interpretation varies as follows:

  • Underweight – <18.5
  • Normal – 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight – 25 to 29.9
  • Obesity – >30

The above notwithstanding, your health care provider will be in the best position to advise you as obesity also has different categorizations.

You can use this tool to calculate your BMI.

In reaching conclusion about the possible association of skipping breakfast and obesity, the researchers note that when adolescents skip breakfast, they are more likely to indulge in unhealthy eating habits that could encourage weight gain.

“Overweight/obesity represents a growing problem because they seriously affect health, leading to impaired quality of life for both, children and adults,” write the researchers.

You can find out more about the study by reading the original article from Scientific Reports.

Samuel Abiona

Samuel Abiona

Samuel Abiona is a medical doctor by training and a writer by passion. Samuel holds a postgraduate degree in Public Health. He believes that communicating medical knowledge goes beyond writing technical reviews. Samuel thus uses his expertise in public health and health systems research to transmit technical information for both academic and general audience. Please email samuel.abiona@essaysinhealth.com to contact this author directly or use the contact page and your information will be passed on to him.