A Prospective Study of Breakfast Consumption and Weight Gain among U.S. Men

Authors

  • Amber A.W.A. van der Heijden,

    1. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Frank B. Hu,

    1. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    3. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Eric B. Rimm,

    1. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    3. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Rob M. van Dam

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    3. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • The costs of publication of this article were defrayed, in part, by the payment of page charges. This article must, therefore, be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center, van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail: a.vanderheijden@vumc.nl

Abstract

Objective: The aim was to investigate the association between breakfast consumption and long-term weight gain in an adult male population.

Research Methods and Procedures: We evaluated prospective data on 20,064 U.S men, 46 to 81 years of age, who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Data on body weight, dietary factors, and lifestyle variables were obtained by validated questionnaires. We examined weight gain during 10 years of follow-up.

Results: Overall, 5857 men had a weight gain of 5 kg or greater during 10 years of follow-up. Breakfast consumption was inversely associated with the risk of 5-kg weight gain after adjustment for age [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.77 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 0.82)], and this association was independent of lifestyle and BMI at baseline [HR = 0.87 (95% CI, 0.82 to 0.93)]. Fiber and nutrient intakes partially explained the association between breakfast consumption and weight gain. The inverse association between breakfast consumption and weight gain was more pronounced in men with a baseline BMI of 25 kg/m2 or lower [multivariate HR = 0.78 (95% CI, 0.70 to 0.87)] than in men who were overweight at baseline [HR = 0.92 (95% CI, 0.85 to 1.00)]. Furthermore, we observed that an increasing number of eating occasions in addition to three standard meals was associated with a higher risk of 5-kg weight gain [HR = 1.15 (95% CI, 1.06 to 1.25, for ≥2 vs. 0 additional eating occasions)].

Discussion: These findings suggest that the consumption of breakfast may modestly contribute to the prevention of weight gain as compared with skipping breakfast in middle-aged and older men.

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