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High protein breakfast provides a host of benefits for overweight teens finds study

Posted:  Friday, August 21, 2015

Weight conscious teens keep trying various alternatives to fit into the better side of the weighing scale. Researchers from University of Missouri have a simple solution for them: just consume a high protein breakfast. Their new research finds that consuming a breakfast with 35 grams of protein helped prevent accretion of body fat, reduced daily food intake and feelings of hunger, and stabilised glucose levels among overweight teens who would normally skip breakfast.

For this 12 week study, the researchers fed either a normal protein breakfast or high protein breakfast to 2 groups of overweight teens who reported skipping breakfast between five and seven times a week. A third group of teenagers continued to skip breakfast for 12 weeks. The normal breakfast consisted of cereals and milk containing 13 grams of protein. The high protein breakfast included eggs, dairy and lean pork providing 35 grams of protein.

The teenagers were asked to report feelings of hunger and their daily food and beverage intakes. Body weight and body composition were checked at the beginning and end of the study period. In addition to this, the teenagers wore a device which measured their minute to minute glucose levels throughout the day.

The researchers found that teens consuming a high protein breakfast reduced their daily food intake by 400 calories and lost body fat mass. The teenagers who ate normal breakfast or who skipped it reportedly gained additional body fat. The high protein breakfast group also had more stable glucose levels than the teenagers in the other group.

Talking about the study, the lead researcher said, "These results show that when individuals eat a high-protein breakfast, they voluntarily consume less food the rest of the day. Generally, people establish eating behaviours during their teen years. If teens are able to develop good eating habits now, such as eating breakfast, it's likely to continue the rest of their lives."

Skipping breakfast is a rampant practice among teenagers, with studies pegging the statistic as high as almost 60%. The solution, as the researchers say, is easy; simply alter the diet composition and eat a high protein breakfast.

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