The Benefits of Breakfast Consumption to Combat Obesity and Diabetes in Young People
AbstractThe obesity epidemic, particularly in young people, is the greatest threat to public health this century. Several dietary factors have recently been identified to play a critical role in the etiology of this disease. Of particular interest is the common dietary habit of skipping breakfast, which has been strongly associated with obesity. Cross-sectional studies indicate that young people who habitually eat breakfast have a higher-quality diet, eat fewer unhealthy snacks, and have better body weight management compared with those who skip breakfast. Additionally, breakfast consumers also exhibit better glucose control throughout the day compared with those who skip the morning meal. These data lend support for the addition of breakfast to reduce factors contributing to obesity and diabetes in young people. Although evidence exists illustrating the benefits of cereal-based breakfast compared with skipping the morning meal, less is known with respect to the consumption of other breakfast foods, namely those rich in dietary protein. This article provides clinical evidence documenting the strong protective effect of breakfast consumption to prevent and/or treat obesity/type 2 diabetes and promote overall health in young people.