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Physical Activity and Skipping Breakfast Have Independent Effects on Body Fatness Among Adolescents

Cayres, Suziane U.*; Urban, Jacqueline B.; Fernandes, Rômulo A.

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: November 2018 - Volume 67 - Issue 5 - p 666–670
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002081
Original Articles: Nutrition

Objective: We analyzed the longitudinal relationship between breakfast intake and adiposity among adolescents, and the possible mediation role of physical activity on this phenomenon.

Methods: We conducted the longitudinal study composed of 86 adolescents (11–14 years old), absence of any known chronic diseases and no regular medicine use that returned the formal consent and assent both signed. Breakfast intake was reported through face-to-face interviews. Adiposity was assessed using a densitometry scanner. Physical activity was estimated through step counts performed using pedometers. Biological maturation was estimated through the maturity level. Student t test for independent samples was used to compare adolescents who were “nonskipping breakfast” and “skipping breakfast,” whereas the relationship between adiposity, physical activity, and skipping breakfast was assessed using Pearson correlation. Structural equation model was created to identify the mediation role of physical activity on the relationship between nonskipping breakfast and adiposity.

Results: After 12 months, adolescents who had consumed breakfast regularly presented decreased trunk fatness (−3.5% [95% confidence interval (CI): −6.9 to −0.2]) and body fatness (−2.3% [95% CI: −3.9 to −0.7]) compared with their counterparts. Physical activity had an inverse relationship with trunk fatness (r = −0.270 [95% CI: −0.457 to −0.060]). Nonskipping breakfast was, however, not significantly related to trunk fatness; however, physical activity seems to reduce trunk fatness in our sample (r = −0.281; 95% CI: −0.479 to −0.083).

Conclusions: Adolescents who ate breakfast regularly presented lower body fatness independent of physical activity, whereas trunk fatness decreased in adolescents who improved physical activity.

*Postgraduate Program in Movement Sciences

Postgraduate Program in Physical Therapy, Sao Paulo State University

Laboratory of Investigation in Exercise - LIVE, Department of Physical Education, UNESP, Presidente Prudente, Brazil.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Suziane U. Cayres, PhD Student, Department of Physical Education, Roberto Simonsen St 305, Presidente Prudente, São Paulo 19060900, Brazil (e-mail:

Received 5 February, 2018

Accepted 11 June, 2018

The authors would like to thank the State of Sao Paulo Research Support Foundation (FAPESP Process: 2013/06052-2 and 2015/04961-0).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2018 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,