Rx for Adolescents at Risk for Obesity: Regular Breakfast

A family approach should target adolescents with obese parents

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Efforts to protect adolescents at risk for obesity should employ a family-based approach that focuses on eating breakfast regularly, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Heather Fiore, R.D., of the Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong in Rochester, N.Y., and colleagues reviewed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994, to identify factors that could protect adolescents aged 12 to 16 with one or two obese parents against obesity.

The researchers studied a sample of 1,890 overweight, at-risk and healthful-weight adolescents, along with subsamples of adolescents with and without obese parents.

Overall, the researchers found 29% of the adolescents were overweight or at risk. Healthful weight was associated with having two non-obese parents, having only one obese parent, higher reading scores, lower water consumption, more exercise programs and higher energy intake. Adolescents with one obese parent fared better when they were female, in better-educated households, and ate regular breakfast, the investigators report.

"Interventions targeted at adolescents who are at risk because they have parents with obesity should employ a family approach focused on regular breakfast consumption," the authors write.

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