Teen Girls Skip Breakfast More as They Age
Girls Who Eat Breakfast Have Healthier Diets, Study Shows
WebMD News Archive
June 3, 2005 -- Skipping breakfast becomes more common among teenaged girls
as they get older, but that habit may be setting them up for weight gain and a
diet lacking critical nutrients.
A new study shows that adolescent girls skip breakfast more often as they
get older, and black girls are more likely to skip their morning meal than
Researchers say the results suggest skipping breakfast may predispose girls
to diets that are low in calcium and fiber as well as sabotage weight loss
efforts. That's because the study also showed that teenaged girls who eat breakfast are leaner and have a lower body mass
index (BMI, a measure of weight in relationship to height) than
those who routinely skip breakfast.
Breakfast and the Teenaged Girl
In the study, which appears in the June issue of the Journal of the
American Dietetic Association, researchers analyzed information from a
nine-year federal health study containing dietary information from more than
2,300 girls who entered the study at age 9 or 10.
The findings include:
- The percentage of girls who ate breakfast on a daily basis dropped
dramatically from more than 77% for 9-year-old white girls and 57% for
9-year-old black girls to less than 32% and 22%, respectively, by age 19.
- Black girls consistently ate breakfast less often than white girls at all
- Girls who ate breakfast regularly had a lower BMI than those who regularly
- Girls who ate breakfast consistently had diets that were higher in fiber
Researchers say these results add to a growing body of evidence that eating
breakfast provides nutritional benefits to children and adolescents.
Eating breakfast is associated with more healthful food choices and regular
eating patterns throughout the day and other health-related behaviors such as
regular physical activity, they write.
In addition, they say routinely eating breakfast may lead to more regular
eating habits and exercise patterns, healthful food choices, and consistent
energy intake, which may pay off in many other healthful ways in the long