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J Nutr. 2011 Jan;141(1):144-7. doi: 10.3945/jn.109.114918. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

Effects of eating frequency, snacking, and breakfast skipping on energy regulation: symposium overview.

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Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.


The ASN hosted a symposium entitled "Eating Patterns and Energy Balance: A Look at Eating Frequency, Snacking, and Breakfast Omission" at the Experimental Biology 2009 annual meeting on April 19, 2009, in New Orleans, LA. The symposium was chaired by Megan McCrory and co-chaired by Wayne Campbell, both from Purdue University. The goal of the symposium was to bring together experts to provide an overview of research on the potential role of eating patterns in the development of overweight and obesity. Studies on eating frequency, snacking, and breakfast skipping were highlighted. In particular, evidence both for and against their roles were discussed, methodological issues that underlie controversies were addressed, and suggested future directions for research were outlined. Appetite regulation and hormonal effects were also reviewed. Megan McCrory introduced the session then discussed studies on eating frequency and energy regulation in free-living adults consuming self-selected diets. Heather Leidy summarized the state of the research on eating frequency and energy regulation in adults from controlled feedings studies. Didier Chapelot discussed various usages of "snack" and argued for a physiological basis to distinguish snacks from meals. Mark Pereira presented information on the effects of breakfast skipping and the macronutrient composition of breakfast in energy regulation and mood. A panel discussion/question and answer session ended the symposium. The symposium was videotaped and can be viewed at

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