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OBJECTIVE: to determine the effect of regular homemade breakfast on body mass index (BMI) of school going male children in Northern region of Saudi Arabia.
METHODOLOGY: This cross-sectional study was conducted during September and November 2013, in Primary Schools of Arar city of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. All classes from the first to the third grade, 359 students of age group 5-9 years in each selected school were included in the study. Of the total 558 questionnaires distributed, asking them whether taking breakfast or not, we measured height in meters weight in kg, and calculated BMI by the formula BMI= weight in Kg/ height in (meters) 2.
RESULTS: The Mean age of the primary school-going male children in grade 2-5, was 7.09±0.89 years. Mean height of the children was 1.18±0.077 meters and mean weight was 25.03±6.74Kg, while mean BMI was 17.97±3.59. Mean BMI was 18.78±2.34 in students who were taking breakfast (n 372) was and 15.10±2.66 in students who were not taking any breakfast (p<0.001). The odds ratio of the children who were “taking” regular breakfast and who were “not taking” regular breakfast for having abnormal BMI (overweight/underweight) or normal BMI was 0.02 (p = < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: The result shows that the regular consumption of breakfast in home results in a normal BMI and a reduced likelihood of being underweight in school going male children. There is a positive effect of having regular breakfast on school going male children.
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