11th February 2015: New Science: On 16 September 2014, a systematic literature review spanning more than 230 papers over 30 years was published today in Advances in Nutrition, an international peer-reviewed journal of the American Society for Nutrition.1
Conducted by Professor Peter Williams, Honorary Professorial Fellow at University of Wollongong and Adjunct Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Canberra, the review is the first time the evidence relating to breakfast cereal and its impact on healthy diets, body weight, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and bowel health has been systematically assessed using the stringent National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) criteria.
Key findings include:
- Breakfast cereal eaters have more nutritious diets, which are higher in vitamins and minerals and have a greater likelihood of meeting recommended nutrient intakes than people who eat other options, or who have no breakfast at all.
- Regularly eating breakfast cereal is associated with a lower BMI and a 12 per cent lower risk of being overweight or obese and in both adults and children.
- Children who consume breakfast cereal have no difference in their overall daily energy intake, total sugars intake or risk of overweight or obesity whether they consume pre-sweetened breakfast cereals or other breakfast cereals.
- Breakfast cereal eaters do not have higher sodium intakes than non-breakfast cereal eaters.
- Breakfast cereals high in soluble fibre (such as oat, barley or psyllium) help lower total and LDL cholesterol.
- Regularly eating wholegrain and high-fibre breakfast cereal is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (by 24 per cent) and cardiovascular disease (by 20-28 per cent).
- Breakfast cereal plays an important role in bowel health, with evidence that high-fibre, wheat-based breakfast cereals help prevent constipation and improve bowel function.
- Regularly eating breakfast cereal is associated with higher milk intakes, ranging from a 25-140 per cent increase.
- Eating breakfast cereal as a meal or snack replacement can assist with weight loss in adults.
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