Breakfast Consumption, Family Breakfast, and Adiposity Trajectory in Adolescence-The Adolescent Nutritional Assessment Longitudinal Cohort Study

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2019 Jun;119(6):944-956. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2018.11.014. Epub 2019 Feb 8.


Background: The relationship between breakfast and family breakfast and adiposity gain during adolescence remains inconclusive.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between breakfast and family breakfast frequency and adiposity trajectory in adolescence.

Design: Prospective cohort study with middle school students aged 10 to 16 years enrolled in 2010 (baseline) and followed for 3 years.

Participants/setting: A total of 945 students from two public and four private schools in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro were included. Among 945 students, 809 participated in the study at baseline. Pregnant or lactating students and those with physical or mental disabilities were excluded.

Main outcome measures: Body mass index (BMI) was assessed by measuring the participants' weight and height, and percent body fat (%BF) was assessed by performing bioelectrical impedance analysis.

Statistical analyses performed: Linear mixed-effect models were used to examine the relationship between baseline and persistence of breakfast consumption and family breakfast over a 3-year period and change in BMI and %BF. Breakfast and family breakfast were assessed by questions on frequency of consumption. Both variables were classified as regular, intermediate, and no consumption at baseline. Persistence was divided into persistently regular, persistently irregular, changing from regular to irregular, and contrariwise.

Results: Overall, frequent breakfast consumption and family breakfast did not have protective effects against adiposity. At baseline, these behaviors were associated with low BMI and %BF among girls. During follow-up, these behaviors and persistence of regular breakfast consumption were associated with an increase in %BF (P<0.05). In boys, those who increased or decreased family breakfast frequency had greater decrease in %BF compared with those persistently regular at both time points.

Conclusion: Breakfast had no consistent relationship with adolescence adiposity trajectory, which is in line with the results of experimental studies and in contrast with those of many cross-sectional studies.

Keywords: Adiposity; Adolescents; Breakfast frequency; Cohort studies; Family breakfast frequency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Breakfast / psychology*
  • Child
  • Family / psychology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Pediatric Obesity / etiology
  • Pediatric Obesity / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies