A long-term study has found that children given breakfasts with a low glycaemic index (GI) tend to reduce their daily energy intakes by 60 kcal on average. The modest energy reduction, if maintained, could have a significant impact on obesity risk.
Professor Henry and colleagues from Oxford Brookes University, UK, randomly divided 38 children aged 8-11 years into two groups. One received a low GI breakfast while the other received a high GI breakfast. After 10 weeks, the groups swapped over for a further 10 weeks. The breakfasts were given on two days of the week and were matched for fibre, protein, carbohydrate, fat and calories.
Full results were available for 29 children. The results showed that, when the children were on the low GI breakfast regime, average daily energy intakes were lower by 60 kcal per day. While this was not statistically significant, the authors proposed that small gains or losses in daily energy intakes can impact on body weight if maintained. Indeed, Professor Henry pointed out that 60 kcal per day equates to 1830 kcal over a month. The authors of the study concluded that offering children low GI breakfasts could contribute to weight management. The likely mechanism is short-term inhibition of appetite by prolonging satiety after the breakfast meal.
For more information, see
Henry CJK et al (2007). Effects of long-term intervention with low- and high-glycaemic-index breakfasts on food intake in children aged 8–11 years. British Journal of Nutrition, Vol 98, pp 636-640.
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