Breakfast skipping in prepubertal obese children: hormonal, metabolic and cognitive consequences

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Background and Aims:Skipping breakfast influences cognitive performance. The aim of our study was to investigate the relationship between the variation of hormonal and metabolic postprandial parameters induced by breakfast consumption or fasting and cognitive performance in obese children.Methods:Cross-sectional study for repeated measures. Memory and attention assessment tests, hormones and nutrient oxidation were measured before and after consuming breakfast vs fasting in 10 prepubertal obese children.Results:Fasting induced a significant (P<0.05) increase of the Overall Index of the Continuous Performance Test II (a global index of inattention) and the Test of Memory and Learning Word Selective Reminding (a test of verbal memory), whereas no changes were found after breakfast. Fasting was associated with a reduction of insulin and an increase in glucagon, with no changes in glucose. The increase in inattention was associated with a reduction of carbohydrate oxidation (ρ=-0.66, P<0.05). We found no difference in the area under the curve of peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide-1 after breakfast or fasting, whereas Ghrelin was significantly lower. No association between postprandial hormone variation and cognitive performance was found.Conclusions:Attention and visual memory performance in the morning were reduced when the children skipped breakfast. No association was found with hormones or metabolic changes, but we did find an association with a reduction of carbohydrate oxidation. Nevertheless, these preliminary findings need confirmation in larger sample size.

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