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Eating Frequency, Body Weight Are Inversely Linked for Youths

When stratified by sex, a significant beneficial effect persists for boys, but not girls

MONDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- For children and adolescents, there is an inverse association between eating frequency and body weight status, which is evident only in boys when stratified by sex, according to a meta-analysis published online April 8 in Pediatrics.

Panagiota Kaisari, and colleagues from Harokopio University in Athens, Greece, conducted a meta-analysis of 10 cross-sectional studies and one case-control study to examine the effect of eating frequency on body weight status in 18,849 children and adolescents (aged 2 to 19 years).

The researchers found that there was a beneficial effect regarding body weight status observed in the highest category of eating frequency, compared with the lowest frequency (odds ratio [OR], 0.78). When stratified by sex, the significant beneficial effect persisted in boys (OR, 0.76), but not in girls (OR, 0.96).

"The results of the present meta-analysis suggest an inverse association between eating frequency and overweight/obesity status in children and adolescents," the authors write. "Clinical trials are warranted to confirm this inverse association, evaluate the clinical practice applicability, and support a public health recommendation."

Abstract (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/04/03/peds.2012-3241.abstract?sid=54bff392-ebd3-489d-9fff-783d69d39e77 )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/04/03/peds.2012-3241.full.pdf+html )