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J Nutr. 2015 Oct;145(10):2229-35. doi: 10.3945/jn.115.214551. Epub 2015 Aug 12.

Breakfasts Higher in Protein Increase Postprandial Energy Expenditure, Increase Fat Oxidation, and Reduce Hunger in Overweight Children from 8 to 12 Years of Age.

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Departments of Food Science and
Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.



Currently 1 in every 3 children aged 2-19 y is overweight or obese. Breakfast is a key component of a healthy diet and has the potential to affect children's health.


The objective of this study was to determine whether consumption of a protein-based breakfast (PRO) increases postprandial energy metabolism and substrate oxidation, reduces hunger, and reduces food intake at lunch compared with a carbohydrate-based breakfast (CHO) in normal weight (NW) vs. overweight/obese (OW) children.


A randomized, crossover-design study was conducted in NW (n = 16; 33 ± 1 kg) and OW (n = 13; 46 ± 2 kg) children (10 ± 1 y). Participants were served either a PRO [344 kcal, 21% protein (18 g), 52% carbohydrate, and 27% fat] or CHO [327 kcal, 4% protein (3 g), 67% carbohydrate, and 29% fat]. Energy expenditure (EE), substrate oxidation, appetite, and blood glucose were measured over a 4 h period. Four hour postprandial participants were provided with access to a lunch buffet and food intake was recorded.


After breakfast, OW children in the PRO group had higher (P < 0.0001) EEs and fat oxidation over the 4 h period than did the NW children in the CHO and PRO groups. There was no difference in postprandial EE or carbohydrate oxidation between the CHO and PRO groups over the 4 h period; however, fat oxidation was 16% higher (P < 0.05) after the PRO than the CHO and postprandial carbohydrate oxidation at 4 h was 32% higher after the PRO than the CHO (P < 0.01), independent of weight group. All participants had decreased feelings of hunger (-14%; P < 0.01) and increased fullness (+32%; P < 0.05) after the PRO than the CHO. Finally, there was no difference in food intake within the NW and OW groups.


This study indicates that breakfast macronutrient composition affects postprandial responses in both NW and OW children. A PRO increases postprandial EE and fat oxidation, reduces hunger, and increases satiety when compared with a carbohydrate-based breakfast.


appetite; breakfast; children; energy expenditure; fat oxidation; glucose; overweight; protein

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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