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  • Children who eat 5 times per day weigh less than those who eat less often

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Wednesday, February 08, 2006 8:25 am Email this article
    Children who eat five or more times per day weigh less than those who eat less often according to a study from Italy. BMI vs EATING FREQUENCY

    BMI of children eating 3, 4 or 5 times per day: 20.5 vs 19.7 vs 18.8

    Children, aged 6- to 11-years-old, who ate five or more times per day had an average body mass index (BMI) of 18.8 compared to 19.7 for those who ate four times per day versus 20.5 for children who ate three or fewer times per day.

    Difference equivalent to 5 lbs for 6-year-old, 8 lbs for 11-year-old

    This difference in BMI between the lowest and the highest, 18.8 versus 20.5, is roughly 5 pounds for a six-year-old child of average height, and 8 pounds for an eleven-year-old child of average height.

    Difference equivalent to 5 lbs for 6-year-old, 8 lbs for 11-year-old

    Note: The BMI of children is naturally lower than that of adults. These BMIs would be very lean for an adult, however, these are normal BMIs for children.



    This may not hold true for overweight children

    I am surprised by these results. I expected the opposite.

    It may depend on whether a child is lean or overweight.

    I suspect that eating five meals per day as opposed to three, may reduce the weight of lean children, but increase the weight of overweight children.

    Frequent snacking leads to weight gain

    I imagine that it also depends on whether the child is eating balanced meals, that is with meat and vegetables, or if they are snacking.

    Studies have found that more frequent snacking is associated with higher body weight



    Dr. Gullo tells patients to eat every 3-4 hours to avoid cravings

    In an eye-opening interview, Dr. Stephen Gullo, author of Thin Tastes Better said that he has his patients eat every 3 to 4 hours to prevent cravings.

    Here is what he said:


    Hobbs: How do you help patients deal with cravings?

    Gullo: I focus a great deal on cravings. People need to realize that a craving is not a command but just a feeling and feelings pass. The average craving lasts 4 to 12 minutes. The availability of trigger foods creates cravings. When people have those foods in their house they are more likely to crave them. To deal with them I take a very mechanical approach. First, it’s necessary to break eye contact with the food and physically separate yourself from it. It’s critical to realize the importance that the power of vision plays in creating cravings. I’m total against the idea of patients keeping food that they abuse in their house. Cravings are very predictable. You can also avoid them by eating every 3 to 4 hours.


    Dr. Gullo among the best of the best

    Dr. Gullo knows his stuff. I consider him among the best of the best.

    In my opinion, Dr. Gullo has figured out many things that most weight loss doctors have not.



    Dr. Gullo’s interview

    The interview with Dr. Gullo can be found here.


    Barba G, Troiano E, Russo P, Siani A. Total fat, fat distribution and blood pressure according to eating frequency in children living in southern italy: the arca project. Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 Feb 7.


    G. Barba
    Epidemiology and Population Genetics
    Institute of Food Sciences
    National Research Council
    Avellino, Italy
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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