Protein-rich breakfasts help teens manage hunger

by Bryan Salvage
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PARK RIDGE, ILL. — New research in adolescents reveals that a protein-rich breakfast improves appetite control and additional research shows that a higher-protein diet may help obese adolescents manage weight, according to the Egg Nutrition News Bureau.

In a recent study published online in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers examined the impact of a protein-rich breakfast on adolescents who traditionally skipped breakfast. When study participants ate a protein-rich breakfast, researchers observed the teens were less hungry and ate approximately 130 fewer calories at lunch.

"We observed that eating breakfast, regardless of composition, led to increased feelings of fullness [satiety],” said Heather J. Leidy, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Missouri and study author. “However, when the adolescents ate a breakfast rich in protein, they also experienced a reduction in hunger, thus maximizing the beneficial effects of protein. This study supports similar findings in adults that showed that when adults ate breakfast meals containing high-quality protein foods, including eggs and lean Canadian bacon, they had a greater feeling of satiety throughout the day compared to when protein was eaten at lunch or dinner."

Severely obese adolescents who followed a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet had significantly lower body mass index after 13 weeks and were also able to maintain weight loss after six months compared to those who followed a low-fat diet, according to another study published in The Journal of Pediatrics. Obese adolescents who followed the high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet also experienced greater fat mass loss and reductions in triglyceride levels.

"These findings are important because they arm teens and their families with practical advice that can be implemented at home," said Dave Ellis, R.D., C.S.C.S., a nutrition consultant who works with athletes and families. "Protein-rich foods, [which includes eggs and lean breakfast meats], can keep individuals satisfied longer, helping them consume fewer calories throughout the day."
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