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Eating breakfast daily reduces cardiometabolic risk factors in children

10 Dec 2020

Children who eat breakfast every day appear to have better cardiometabolic health, according to the results of a longitudinal analysis.

A total of 6,964 children aged 6–13 years from Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Jinan, Harbin, and Guangzhou in China were included in the final analysis. Healthy breakfast habits were defined as daily consumption, consumption of ≥3 food groups, and at-home consumption.

The investigators measured blood pressure (BP), % fat mass, total cholesterol (TC), high-density (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides, glucose, and 50-m x 8 shuttle run at baseline (May 2009) and follow-up (May 2010). Clustered cardiometabolic risk score (CCRS) was computed by summing z scores of five components: % fat mass, systolic BP, glucose, TC-to-HDL-C ratio, and triglyceride.

Children with healthy breakfast habits had a higher reduction in TC-to-HDL-C ratio and a higher increase in HDL-C than those who skip breakfast (p<0.05 for both). An inverse association was observed between the number of food groups consumed at breakfast and the change in CCRS (ptrend=0.005).

At-home breakfast consumption often resulted in a lower increase in body mass index, LDL-C, TC-to-HDL-C ratio, fasting glucose, and 50-m x 8 shuttle run, and in a higher increase in HDL-C (pall<0.05). In addition, children with two or three healthy breakfast habits had a lower increase in CCRS, LDL-C, TC-to-HDL-C ratio, glucose, and a higher increase in HDL-C compared with those who had one or none (pall<0.05).

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