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Breakfast Grains Curb Weight Gain

Contributed by: NAPSA

What's for breakfast? - A study shows that ready-to-eat cereal helps children keep a normal body weight.

(NAPSA) - Children who eat cereal more often are less likely to be overweight. Those are the findings of a new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Cereal eaters were also found to have lower body mass index (BMI), which is the relation between height and weight, and more positive nutrient intake profiles than infrequent or non-cereal eaters.

The study was conducted to examine the relationship between ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal consumption habits and BMI of school-aged children. Results of the study concluded that children who consumed eight or more servings of cereal for two weeks had significantly lower BMIs compared to the children who consumed three or fewer servings during that same time.

Statistically, nearly 80 percent of the children who frequently consumed cereal boasted an appropriate body weight for their age and gender.

"The majority of children who frequently ate a ready-to-eat cereal had a normal, healthy body weight, while nearly half of the children who ate little or no cereal were overweight," said G. Harvey Anderson, Ph.D., the co-author of the study, who is a professor of nutrition at the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Toronto. "For an average 10-year-old boy, that can equate to about a 12-pound difference."

The benefits of cereal consumption were also apparent in those children who were at risk for being overweight. According to CDC standards, the proportion of children ages 4 to 12 at risk for being overweight is roughly one in three. However, children in this age group who ate cereal eight or more times during the two-week study, lowered their risk to nearly one in five. The study tracked all types of cereal, including whole grain, such as Cheerios and Wheaties and presweetened, such as Kix, Trix, Lucky Charms and Golden Grahams.

Long-standing research confirms that children who eat breakfast also have better cognitive function in school. Experts say it is an ideal way for families to promote healthy body weight and nutrient intake by children.

The study used a 14-day food diary data with portion size data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and nutrient data from the University of Minnesota's Nutrition Data System for Research.


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