Having two breakfasts is better than none when it comes to preventing kids from being overweight or obese, a new study has found.
Researchers from the Yale School of Public Health and the University of Connecticut were able to discover new evidences that may help seal the deal of policy-making efforts concerning daily school breakfast provision.
"When it comes to the relationship between school breakfast and body weight, our study suggests that two breakfasts are better than none," says study author Marlene Schwartz.
The Effects Of Two Breakfasts: A Complicated Puzzle
In the past, studies have shown that eating breakfast may help improve academic performance, promote better health and result in healthier weight among students. However, having a second breakfast in school after eating at home have raised concerns that it could shoot up the risk of bad weight gain.
In the new study, however, senior author Jeannette Ickovics from Yale School of Public Health says their work does not back up those worries. In fact, she says that giving a healthy breakfast in school lifts food insecurity among children and is linked with sustaining a healthy weight.
Finding Out The Truth
To investigate, the team conducted a study involving 584 middle school students from 12 schools in an urban community. Breakfast and lunch are served to these schools at no extra fees.
The scientists monitored the participants' breakfast patterns, as well as the locations where they eat their early meals. They also tracked the weight of the students for two years from 5th to 7th grade, or from school year 2011-2012 to 2013-2014.
The findings of the study show that students who did not eat breakfast or have irregular breakfast-eating patterns had more than twice the risk of being overweight or obese than those who consumed two breakfasts.
Even if the kids ate double breakfasts, their weight changes did not manifest differences from the weight changes of all the other kids.
Implications Of Study Results
The research may provide valuable insights for policy makers and advocates who work to tackle childhood obesity.
About one-third of kids aged 6 to 11 years old in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese. Higher rates are seen in kids with black and Hispanic descent that those with white origins.
Although school breakfast programs have already been initiated, careful monitoring is still needed to ensure that children do not consume excessive calories that may lead to obesity.
The study was published on Thursday in the journal Pediatric Obesity.