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Prev Med. 2011 Oct;53(4-5):260-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.08.030. Epub 2011 Aug 27.

Skipping breakfast and prevalence of overweight and obesity in Asian and Pacific regions: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tsukuba Institute of Clinical Medicine, Japan.



In Western countries, skipping breakfast is associated with a high prevalence of overweight and obesity. This meta-analysis aimed to determine if the same relationship exists in Asian and Pacific regions.


A systematic literature search was performed for observational studies using a cross-sectional design that examined the relationship between frequency of eating breakfast and overweight or obesity. Odds ratios (ORs) for overweight or obesity were pooled with a variance-based method.


Nineteen studies (93,108 total participants and 19,270 overweight or obese cases) were included. The pooled OR [95% confidence intervals (CI)] of overweight or obesity for the lowest vs. highest category of breakfast frequency was 1.75 [1.57 to 1.95] (P<0.001). Between-study heterogeneity in the association's strength was highly significant (I-squared=36.4%, P<0.001), although a positive OR was shown in all but one included study. However, no study characteristics could be identified to explain the heterogeneity.


This meta-analysis suggests that a positive association between skipping breakfast and overweight and obesity is globally observed regardless of cultural diversity among countries. Promoting the eating of breakfast in all populations may be beneficial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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