morning cereal curbs kids' weight gain

by Diane Lofshult on Oct 01, 2004

Food for Thought

Researchers may have uncovered a seemingly small behavior that could make a big difference in childhood weight gain: starting the day with a simple, ready-to-eat cereal. According to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (2003; 103 [12]), kids who started most days off by eating either a whole-grain or presweetened cereal had significantly lower BMIs than those who did not eat cereal. Almost 80% of the frequent cereal eaters (ages 4–12) had appropriate body weights for their age and gender; those who ate the most cereal during the study also had lower overall fat intakes and higher intakes of many micronutrients, including vitamins A and B6, calcium, iron and zinc, than kids who ate little or no cereal. The authors concluded that “the consumption of ready-to-eat cereals at breakfast should be encouraged as a component of an eating pattern that promotes the maintenance of healthful body weights and nutrient intakes in children.”

Fitness Journal, Volume 1, Issue 3

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© 2004 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Diane Lofshult

Diane Lofshult IDEA Author/Presenter

Diane Lofshult is an award-winning freelance author who specializes in nutrition and weight management topics. She is the founder of In Other Words, an editorial consulting firm based in Solana Beach, California. Reach her at