Breakfast Of Champions

Bodybuilders and strength athletes have known for decades that breakfast is the most important meal. They use it to fuel their muscles with amino acids from protein. Now a new study printed in the March issue of Pediatrics underscores the importance of the day's first meal. Analyzing teenagers, scientists found a direct correlation between skipping breakfast and increased obesity risk.

Fact is, one third of teens aged 12 to 19 are overweight or at risk of becoming obese, three-times the percentage of 20 years ago. It's estimated that 12% to 34% of children and adolescents skip breakfast on a regular basis and the numbers increase with age. Researchers discovered that total fat and saturated fat, as a percentage of total daily energy, were lower in breakfast eaters. So breakfast consumption improves energy balance and helps control weight.

The Bigger Picture: It's important to remember that scarfing down cookies or other sugary, high-carbohydrate treats is not the type of breakfast these researchers were measuring. Think scrambled eggs, whole grain toast, a glass of nonfat milk and half a grapefruit. That's the kind of breakfast that'll help you and your young athletes champion a healthy, fit lifestyle.
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