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High-protein breakfast improves adolescent weight control

Posted Jun 08 2010 12:00am

New research in adolescents demonstrates that a protein-rich breakfast, containing eggs, improves appetite control and additional research shows that a high-protein diet may help obese adolescents with weight control. According to a report in the JAMA, nearly one in three American children are overweight or obese, which increases their risk for developing obesity-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.1

In a recent study published online in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers examined the impact of a protein-rich breakfast on adolescents who traditionally skipped breakfast. When the study participants ate a protein-rich breakfast the researchers observed that the teens were less hungry and ate approximately 130 fewer calories at lunch.2

“We observed that eating breakfast, regardless of composition, led to increased feelings of fullness (satiety). However, when the adolescents ate a breakfast rich in protein, they also experienced a reduction in hunger, thus maximizing the beneficial effects of protein,” says Heather J. Leidy, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Missouri and study author. “This study supports similar findings in adults that showed that when adults ate breakfast meals containing high-quality protein foods, including eggs and lean Canadian bacon, they had a greater feeling of satiety throughout the day compared to when protein was eaten at lunch or dinner.”

Another study published in The Journal of Pediatrics demonstrated that severely obese adolescents who followed a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet had significantly lower body mass index (BMI) after 13 weeks and were also able to maintain weight loss after six months versus those who followed a low-fat diet.3 The obese adolescents who followed the high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet also experienced greater fat mass loss and reductions in triglyceride levels.

“These findings are important because they arm teens and their families with practical advice that can be implemented at home,” says Dave Ellis, R.D., C.S.C.S., a nutrition consultant who works with athletes and families. “Protein-rich foods, such as eggs, can keep individuals satisfied longer, helping them consume fewer calories throughout the day” (Courtesy of EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS).

References:

1. Ogden, C.L., Carroll, M., Curtin, L., Lamb, M., Flegal, K. (2010). Prevalence of High Body Mass Index in US Children and Adolescents 2007-2008. Journal of American Medical Association, 303(3), 242-249.

2. Leidy HJ, Racki EM. The addition of a protein-rich breakfast and its effect on acute appetite control and food intake in ‘breakfast skipping’ adolescents. Int J Obs 2010. Accessed 5/18/2010.

3. Krebs NF, Gao D, Gralla J, et al. Efficacy and safety of a high protein, low carbohydrate diet for weight loss in severely obese adolescents. J Pediatr 2010. Accessed 5/18/2010.

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