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Study Shows Breakfast Cereal Helps Lower BMI In Children

A new study using San Antonio children shows that eating cereal with whole milk provides them with more nutrients and smaller waistlines as opposed to other breakfast foods.

The study used about 600 boys and girls from family incomes of less than $24,000 and followed them as they progressed from the fourth through the sixth grades. Every year it took 72 hours of a child’s diet to determine the effects of the different types of breakfast.

"There's some studies that have shown that children that eat breakfast in the morning tend to have lower obesity rates," said Dr. Roberto Trevino of the Social Health and Research Center. "So that’s what got us started."

Trevino said the study wanted go deeper into targeting specific foods like ready-to-eat breakfast cereal, cultural foods, or no breakfast at all.

"There was a group of children that were eating the breakfast tacos and were eating the high-refined flour, which is biscuits and pancakes, and those children didn’t show the benefits that the children that were consuming the cereal had," he added.

Nutritionist Lana Frantzen said the ready-to-eat cereal group benefited in lower Body Mass Indexes.

"When children have that lower BMI and keep that favorable weight they are actually reducing their risk for chronic disease conditions like Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease," said Frantzen.

Children who ate cereal and milk had a higher intake of essential nutrients like Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin D and fiber. The study also found that students eat breakfast less as they age.

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Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules