Breakfast cereal consumption and obesity risk amongst mid-age Australian women.
A cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health.
Quatela A, Callister R, Patterson AJ, McEvoy M and MacDonald-Wicks LK (2017). Breakfast Cereal Consumption and Obesity Risk amongst the Mid-Age Cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Healthcare 5(49).
Obesity affects almost 28% of Australian women. Breakfast cereal consumption has been proposed to be protective against the development of obesity, with two systematic literature reviews(1,2) of prospective studies supporting the association of regular breakfast cereal consumption with a lower risk of being overweight or obese. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of consumption of different categories of breakfast cereal on the risk of developing obesity over 12 years amongst mid-age women.
METHODOLOGY / STUDY DESIGN
This analysis was conducted over a 12-year period in a representative sample of Australian women born between 1946-1951, who formed the mid-aged (45-67 years, n = 4143) cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
A total of 308 (7.4%) new cases of obesity were reported over 12 years of follow-up. The consumption of any breakfast cereal was not associated with a significant reduction in the risk of developing obesity (OR: 0.92; p = 0.68). In terms of breakfast cereal type, wheat-based cereals (OR: 1.01; CI: 0.78, 1.31; p = 0.92) and higher fibre breakfast cereals (OR: 0.79; CI: 0.57) were also not associated with a significant reduction in the risk of developing obesity, but muesli on its own (OR: 0.57; p=0.00), or as part of oat-based cereals (OR: 0.71; p=0.01), and All-Bran (OR: 0.92; p = 0.68), were associated with significant reductions in obesity risk.
The study had a few limitations, including the use of self-reported data (via a food frequency questionnaire) that also did not include information on how the breakfast cereal was prepared or when it was consumed. Similarly, the categories of breakfast cereal did not capture rice-based cereal or high sugar varieties, meaning it was not possible to evaluate whether these types of breakfast cereal would impact obesity risk.
KEY TAKE OUT
These findings suggested that the type of breakfast cereal consumed mattered regarding its association with obesity risk. This effect may be due to particular characteristics of different cereal eaters.
“These findings suggest that the type of breakfast cereal consumed matters with regards to its association with obesity risk.”
1. Priebe MG and McMonagle JR (2016). Effects of ready-to-eat cereals on key nutritional and health outcomes: A systematic review. PLoS ONE, 11, e0164931.
2. Williams PG (2014). The benefits of breakfast cereal consumption: A systematic review of the evidence base. Adv. Nutr., 5, 636-73S.