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Having breakfast each morning has long been a recommended habit. For youngsters, a healthy breakfast provides energy and helps them concentrate. By being able to focus, students do better academically. However, the latest research also indicates that having breakfast plays a major role in maintaining a healthy weight.

The Brazil Study
Obesity in children and adults remains a health problem in the United States. A group of researchers from the Sao Paulo State University in Brazil found that eating breakfast each day is connected with having a reduced body mass index or BMI. Amazingly, breakfast had more of an impact on a student’s weight than engaging in physical activity.

The study involved 86 teens. Scientists evaluated the body weight, BMI, and body fat of all the participants before starting the trial and after concluding the study. The group was divided into three sectors. One group ate breakfast daily, the second group had breakfast three to five times a week. The third group skipped breakfast. Exercise levels of all the volunteers were also monitored.

After one year, the teens eating breakfast daily had lower BMI levels and less body fat compared to the teens who skipped breakfast. The first group was also able to more effectively lose weight compared to their peers regardless of exercise.

Having breakfast daily is a more effective means of losing and maintaining a healthy weight. The meal does not require an expensive gym membership and is easy to add to a daily routine. The first meal of the day also provides a chance for families to spend more time together.

A study published in the “Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition” explains that approximately 45 percent of teens do not take the time to eat breakfast. The teen’s lifestyle choice is also closely linked with having an increased BMI, more body fat, high cholesterol levels, higher fasting glucose levels and a greater likelihood of being obese.

Cultural Change
The university scientists believe that skipping breakfast is increasingly becoming a cultural norm. Entire households have such busy schedules that all typically run out the door without taking the time to enjoy a nutritious meal together. The behavior tends to carry over into the weekend despite there being no school or work. Parents, teachers, coaches, and family doctors must start spreading the word about the importance of eating breakfast daily.