CRITICAL STUDY SHOWS BREAKFAST SKIPPING IS CORRELATED WITH OBESITY IN ADOLESCENT GIRLS

In a recently published study out of the Asian Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, epidemiologists from Harvard Medical School showed a significant correlation between breakfast skipping and being overweight or obese among a study population of 523 adolescent girls.  One of the theories in the study was that specific behavior s could be measured and then correlated with weight gain, overweight and obesity.  It is hoped that this kind of measure would lead to some specific behavioral interventions and teachings that might improve the epidemic of adolescent weight gain and obesity.

The study was conducted among Fijian adolescent girls and published in volume 19 in the 2010 journal.  The various behaviors were assessed and among them, skipping breakfast was found to have a high correlation to the adolescent girls who were overweight and obese.  In this study population, 41% of the adolescent girls were considered overweight and 15% were considered obese.  A more sophisticated analysis, which involved a multivariate analysis technique, found frequent breakfast skipping associated with a higher odds ratio of overweight and obesity.  The association was considered statistically significant, but the odds ratio was around 1.15, not an especially strong correlation.  A further, even more sophisticated statistical analysis called regression modeling that adjusts for other types of eating problems and pathology lead to the breakfast skipping being found to have a non-significant influence on overweight and obesity.

So what we might take from this study is that breakfast skipping is associated or correlated with weight gain and obesity among adolescent girls.  It may not however be causative and may not be the specific behavior that needs to be targeted, but may be one of several different abnormal eating behaviors that lead to weight gain and obesity.

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