**Teen Obesity and the Breakfast Solution **
The point has been made and people are hopefully listening. Even better, perhaps a good number of people have transcended listening and are taking action. It has been said again and again, and I will say it yet one more time. We are an obese nation, and our health is very much at risk because of it. Consider the magnitude of this problem for a moment. A full nation of over three hundred million men, women and children is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. We eat so frequently or so poorly and are physically inactive that we have become a collective heart attack waiting to explode.
Two-thirds of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese and those who are heaviest have become even moreso in the last decade.
What's more, 31.8% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, and 16.9% meet the criteria for obesity. Nearly one-third of low-income preschoolers are overweight or obese. About one quarter of children ages 2-5 and one third of school age children are either obese or overweight. We have passed our harmful habits down to our children.
The reparation we owe our young people must be immediate, and the starting point for this reparation is the breakfast table.
The Importance of Breakfast
Teens who eat breakfast on a regular basis have a healthier diet and are more physically active than their peers who do not eat breakfast. Those who ate breakfast also gained less weight and had a lower body mass index years later.
Teens who eat breakfast on a regular basis also consume a lower number of calories from saturated fat and eat more fiber and carbohydrates than teenagers who skip breakfast.
Between 12% and 34% of adolescents and teenagers skip breakfast, and the percentage only increases across the years. Researchers believe that skipping breakfast leads to overeating in the later part of the day as well as poor food choices.
Benefits to Teens Who Eat Breakfast
Teens who eat breakfast regularly are subject to the benefits of starting the day off right. To begin, they are less likely to become obese. In addition, they are more likely to get the recommended amount of nutrients that are needed daily.
Teenagers who do not eat breakfast are two times more likely to have low iron levels and two to five times less likely to get the recommended vitamins and minerals they need.
Finally, eating breakfast improves performance at school. Children who eat breakfast have better concentration and more energy over the course of the day. There is also a link to better memory, better grades, better attendance, and less tardiness.
Research has also shown that eating a protein rich breakfast such as eggs enhances appetite control and that a diet high in protein may help obese adolescents manage their weight better.
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Disabled World - http://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/diets/special/breakfasts-eggs.php
FRAC - http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/obesity-in-the-us/
Ygoy - http://obesity.ygoy.com/2008/03/06/skipping-breakfast-enhances-teen-obesity/