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J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Aug;23(4):316-21.

Evening ready-to-eat cereal consumption contributes to weight management.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.



Post dinner snacking may constitute a significant proportion of total daily energy intake and contribute to overweight and obesity in some individuals (night snackers). This study tested the hypothesis that providing a structured snack in the form of a "ready-to-eat" breakfast cereal would help regulate excess energy intake and contribute to weight loss in night snackers.


Adults (18 to 65 years of age, BMI kg/m2 > or = 25), with self-reported night snacking behaviors, were randomized into a cereal group (CR) and a no-cereal group (NC). During a period of 4 weeks, the cereal group was instructed to consume a serving of ready-to-eat cereal with low-fat milk 90 minutes after their evening meal. Concurrently, the non-cereal group continued their regular diet ad libitum.


At baseline, there were no significant differences between groups for age, body weight, body mass index, daily caloric intake, or evening caloric intake. There was a correlation between number of days of compliance with post-dinner cereal consumption and weight loss (r = -0.36, p = 0.057). After 4 weeks, the compliant subjects (cereal intake > or = 20 d) lost -1.85 +/- 3.56 lbs vs. -0.39 +/- 3.1 lb for the NC group (p = 0.06). Compared to baseline, the compliant CR group reduced their total daily caloric intake by -396.50 +/- 641.6 kcal (p < 0.02), whereas, the NC group experienced a reduction of -23.22 +/- 889.60 kcal/day during the same period (p = ns). Reduction in post-dinner calorie intake for the compliant CR group was significantly greater compared to the NC group (-141.74 +/- 385.58 kcal vs. 85.82 +/- 374.70 kcal; p = 0.042).


Eating ready-to-eat cereal after the evening meal may attenuate caloric intake in night snackers and promote weight loss in compliant individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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