(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 2–19 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.”