Highlights from the September Journal of the American Dietetic Asociation

08/31/05

The September 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest. Below is a summary of some of this month's articles. For more information or to receive a faxed copy of a Journal article, e-mail media@eatright.org.

Connections between Breakfast and Girls' Health

A multi-center study led by researchers at Maryland Medical Research Institute indicates eating cereal at breakfast "as part of an overall eating pattern that promotes maintenance of healthy body weights" may help adolescent girls maintain a healthy body mass index and adequate nutrient intake.

Using data from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Growth Health Study, the researchers examined breakfast and cereal consumption of more than 2,300 girls over a ten-year period starting when they were nine or 10 years old. The researchers found that, as the girls moved through their teen years, their cereal consumption predicted a lower BMI regardless of their age. The researchers also found cereal consumption had positive effects on the girls' nutrient intake, particularly in higher levels of calcium and fiber and lower levels of fat and cholesterol.

In addition to nutrients contributed by cereal, the researchers suggest that other factors related to cereal consumption may have an impact on girls' diets. For example, other healthful foods are usually eaten with cereal such as milk and juice and the cereal may replace other less nutritious food choices. According to the researchers: "Cereal consumption may be one component of a healthful lifestyle that helps adolescent girls to maintain adequate nutrient intake and a healthful BMI."

The study was supported by General Mills Inc. and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Breakfast Consumption and Body Mass among U.S. Adults

Researchers from Michigan State University and Kellogg Co. looked at data from the fourth National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2000, to study relationships between breakfast consumption and body mass index in adult men and women.

The study found breakfast consumers are "more likely to be older, female, white, non-smoking, regular exercisers and trying to control their weight." According to the authors: "Effective weight management as measured by BMI <25 was more strongly associated with ready-to-eat cereal breakfast consumption than with breakfast consumption in general."

Previous studies have reported the importance of breakfast consumption on total daily nutritional intake, and on the consumption of ready-to-eat cereal in lowering the percentage of energy intake from fat and increasing the intake of vitamin and minerals. "The benefits of breakfast meals and choice of breakfast foods seems to be important in counteracting overweight in the United States," the researchers write.

The study was supported in part by Kellogg Co. and the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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