Research Study Abstract

Eating breakfast more frequently is cross-sectionally associated with higher physical activity and lower levels of adiposity in overweight Latina and African American girls

  • Published on June 26, 2013

Eating breakfast is believed to promote a healthy body weight. Yet, few studies have examined the contribution of energy balance–related behavioral factors to this relation in minority youth.

We assessed the associations between breakfast consumption and dietary intake, physical activity (PA), and adiposity before and after accounting for energy intake and PA in minority girls.

Cross-sectional data were obtained on body mass index (BMI), percentage body fat (measured by BodPod), dietary intake (measured with 3-d dietary records), and PA (measured with 7-d accelerometry) from 87 Latina and African American girls 8–17 y of age (75% Latina, 80% overweight). Dietary records were used to categorize girls as more frequent breakfast eaters (MF; 2 or 3 of 3 d; n = 57) or less frequent breakfast eaters (LF; 0 or 1 of 3 d; n = 30). Chi-square tests, ANCOVA, and multiple regression analyses were conducted. Mediation was assessed with a Sobel test.

Compared with the MF group, the LF group spent 30% less time (12.6 min/d) in moderate-to-vigorous-intensity PA (MVPA; P = 0.004) and had a higher percentage body fat (P = 0.029). MVPA accounted for 25% (95% CI: −8.8%, 58.1%; P = 0.139) of the relation between breakfast consumption and percentage body fat. We were unable to show that energy intake or MVPA was a significant mediator of the relation between breakfast consumption and adiposity in this sample.

Evidence suggests that among predominantly overweight minority girls, MVPA, but not energy intake, was associated with both breakfast consumption and adiposity; however, a lack of power reduced our ability to detect a significant mediation effect. Other unobserved variables likely contribute to this relation.


The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition


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