Swiss Children Consuming Breakfast Regularly Have Better Motor Functional Skills and Are Less Overweight Than Breakfast Skippers

Human Nutrition Laboratory, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition (Impact Factor: 1.45). 04/2012; 31(2):87-93. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2012.10720013
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to examine the associations among eating behavior, body mass index (BMI), and motor functional skills in Swiss elementary school children.
In total, 656 schoolchildren, aged 7 to 10 years, participated in the study. Five different, normalized, and standardized motor function tests (sidewise jumping, tapping, standing long jump, 20-m sprint, and shuttle run) that determine the coordinative and conditional skills were carried out with each child at 1 of 4 time points (8, 9, 10, or 11 am) along with anthropometric measurements. Furthermore, all children completed a nutrition survey including different questions on their eating habits with emphasis on breakfast and the morning snack at school.
Children consuming breakfast almost every day had a significantly (p < 0.05) lower BMI (16.7 ± 2.2 kg/m2) compared with children eating breakfast only sometimes or almost never (18.2 ± 3.0 kg/m2 and 18.8 ± 3.4 kg/m2, respectively). They also reached better scores in 3 of the 5 motor function tests (standing long jump, 20-m sprint, and shuttle run, p < 0.05). Furthermore, overweight and obese children reached poorer results in 4 disciplines of the motor functional tests (sidewise jumping, standing long jump, 20-m sprint, and shuttle run) than normal-weight children, and they tended to eat lunch and dinner more frequently in front of the TV or in their rooms (p < 0.05). In multiple regression analysis, BMI was a significant predictor of the results for sprint, sidewise jumping, standing long jump, and shuttle run, whereas daytime, breakfast frequency, and gender predicted only some of the outcomes.
This study clearly underlines the importance of breakfast for school-aged children: Children eating breakfast almost every day had better motor functional skills and a lower BMI than children not regularly eating breakfast. The study further hints at the importance of generally healthy nutritional habits with regard to both motor functional skills and healthy weight status.

32 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Against the background of rising rates of obesity in children and adults in the USA, and modest effect sizes for obesity interventions, the aim of the present narrative review paper is to extend the UNICEF care model to focus on childhood obesity and its associated risks with an emphasis on the emotional climate of the parent-child relationship within the family. Specifically, we extended the UNICEF model by applying the systems approach to childhood obesity and by combining previously unintegrated sets of literature across multiple disciplines including developmental psychology, clinical psychology and nutrition. Specifically, we modified the extended care model by explicitly integrating new linkages (i.e. parental feeding styles, stress, depression and mother's own eating behaviour) that have been found to be associated with the development of children's eating behaviours and risk of childhood obesity. These new linkages are based on studies that were not incorporated into the original UNICEF model, but suggest important implications for childhood obesity. In all, this narrative review offers important advancements to the scientific understanding of familial influences on children's eating behaviours and childhood obesity.
    British Journal Of Nutrition 01/2015; 113 Suppl(S1):S55-71. DOI:10.1017/S000711451400333X · 3.45 Impact Factor