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Chubby teens? Breakfast may be the solution.

Teenage weight gain – many of us have experienced it for ourselves, but more teenagers than ever are tipping the scales towards obesity…

 

With up to 60% of young people regularly skipping breakfast, it has always been a potential target in the battle against the bulge. New research has looked into the the of breakfast that teens should be eating in order to manage or maintain a healthy weight. Researchers at the University of Missouri compared the benefits of consuming a normal protein breakfast against a high-protein breakfast. The study showed that the high-protein offering (with 35 grams of protein) prevented gains of body fat, reduced daily food intake and feelings of hunger, and stabilized glucose levels among overweight teens who would normally skip breakfast.

Heather Leidy, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the MU School of Medicine and lead author of the study, says “Generally, people establish eating behaviours during their teen years. If teens are able to develop good eating habits now, such as eating breakfast, it’s likely to continue the rest of their lives.” 

The study saw high-protein eaters display an average reduction in calorie intake of around 400 calories, which in turn led to a loss of body fat mass.  Normal- protein eaters and breakfast skippers in the study gained additional body fat. “These results show that when individuals eat a high-protein breakfast, they voluntarily consume less food the rest of the day. In addition, teens who ate high-protein breakfast had more stable glucose levels than the other groups”, says Leidy.

Teenage obesity can lead to early onset diabetes and heart disease, so a few dietary changes could be a very real solution to help keep your child healthy. A three egg omelette would provide around 18g of protein, add in a little reduced-fat cheese or some lean ham, alongside a dairy rich drink such as a glass of semi skimmed milk or a latte, and a small portion of low fat Greek yogurt to achieve a breakfast with around 35g protein. 

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