Thursday, March 14, 2013

Breakfast skipping, watching TV while eating breakfast, and underweight, overweight and obesity in school children across Europe

In a paper just published in e-pub in the journal Public Health Nutrition we describe a study looking at the relationships between skipping breakfast, watching TV while having breakfast, and weight status in 10-12 y old schoolchildren in eight countries across Europe. This paper is another product from the cross-European ENERGY study.

We found that, as compared to children who eat breakfast every day without watching TV (and  adjusting for sex, ethnicity and parental level of education) children who skip breakfast at least once a week were 1.2 times more likely to be overweight and 1.8 times more likely to be obese; children who watch TV while having breakfast were half as likely to be underweight and 1.4 times more likely to be obese than kids who do not watch TV while having breakfast. Our results are thus in line with earlier studies that also indicated that breakfast skippers are significantly more likely to be overweight and obese. Our study further indicates that watching TV while having breakfast is associated  with higher risk for obesity, but also with lower risk for underweight in schoolchildren.