Now You Know
Is monthly research on interesting and educational topics - topics may include: Smart Foods to Eat During Pregnancy, Antitoxidant Foods and Foods Aiding in Strong Brain Development... read on to learn more.
BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS: One Strategy to Prevent Childhood ObesityDr. Nari Pidutti
Canadians are in the midst of an epidemic of overweight and obesity, with obesity rates in children tripling in the last 25 years. Approximately 26% of Canadian children ages 2-17 years are currently overweight or obese.
There are several studies showing that low glycemic index, or low GI foods, which breakdown slowly into sugar, are more beneficial than high GI foods (that rapidly turn into sugar in the body). In one study, a low GI breakfast were given to obese teenage boys. In comparison, another group of obese teenage boys were given a high GI breakfast with the same calories. Both groups were then allowed to eat what they wanted for lunch. The boys given a high GI breakfast (higher sugar) ate 81% more calories at lunch compared to the boys given a low GI breakfast. A similar finding in another study showed that an average of 145 kcal more, were eaten after a high GI diet compared to a low GI diet. A third study showed that the low GI breakfast resulted in better satiety, as well as better insulin profiles.
Three ways to balance a higher glycemic meal, such as a piece of toast, is to add either fat, fiber, or protein. An example would be to add some almond butter, which has healthy fat and protein. Adding some fiber such as an apple would help lower the glycemic index a little bit more. A meal like oatmeal, which is a medium GI food, could be balanced out by adding ground flax, hemp, or chia seeds, which contain healthy fat and protein. So remember your healthy fat, fiber and protein.
In conclusion, one strategy to prevent childhood obesity, or to promote health for all children, is to eat a healthy low sugar breakfast. This is in addition to getting 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, and staying physically active.