E. DIETARYExerciseObesity

Effect of eating frequency on adiposity

Researchers at the University of California, in Berkeley, studied girls, 9 to 20 years old.

First, the details.

  • Data from 3-day diet records were collected from 2372 girls ages 9–10 to 19–20 years.
  • Meal, snack, and total eating frequencies over the first 2 study years were examined in relation to the 10-year change in BMI and waist circumference.

And, the results.

  • Eating frequency was significantly lower in black and older girls vs white and younger girls.
  • In whites…
    • Lower snack and total eating frequencies were significantly related to increases in BMI and waist circumference.
  • In blacks…
    • Lower meal and snack frequencies were related to significantly greater increases in BMI and waist circumference.
    • Lower total eating frequency was related to significantly greater increases in waist circumference.
  • Total eating frequency remained significantly related to greater 10-year increases in BMI after adjusting for potentially confounding factors: baseline adiposity, race, parental education, physical activity, television and video viewing, total energy intake, and dieting for weight loss.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “A lower eating frequency predicts a greater gain in adiposity in adolescent females.”

Interesting but others have made similar observations. For example…

  • Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in Worcester, reported, “Skipping breakfast was associated with increased prevalence of obesity.”
  • Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, reported, “A protective effect of an increased daily meal frequency on obesity in children… appeared to be independent of other risk factors for childhood obesity.

1/23/12 20:27 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.