Kids are most likely to be overweight if they skip breakfast, says a new study.
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Conventional wisdom has long held that eating breakfast is a healthy way to start the day. It gets the metabolism going, it keeps you from eating more food later in the day—and prevents you from grabbing junk food when you're ravenous. But what if you consume two breakfasts? Isn't that excessive? Wouldn't that fatten you up too much? A new study in the journal Pediatric Obesity suggests that having even two breakfasts is better than none.

Marlene Schwartz, of the University of Connecticut's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, was especially interested in looking at what happens when kids eat breakfast at home and then eat another breakfast when they get to school—a practice common in low-income communities. The field research took more than two years: She followed kids in 12 different schools in New Haven, CT, as they matured from fifth grade to seventh grade, recording their weight and breakfast habits. She did not find many double-breakfast eaters—only about 1 out of every 10 kids. But she did find that none of them weighed any more than other students. In fact, students were twice as likely to be overweight if they skipped breakfast.

It's fair to wonder if the quality of the breakfasts is more important than the quantity. To that, Schwartz says: "It's not like these kids are eating two breakfasts of donuts. School breakfasts are very healthy. It's fruit and low-fat dairy and whole grains. So you could almost think of it as a healthy snack."