Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level



General Human Environmental Sciences


Jamie I. Baum

Committee Member

Sun-Ok Lee

Second Committee Member

Sabrina Trudo

Third Committee Member

Stavros Kavouras


Breakfast, Childhood Obesity, Nutrition, Obesity, Omega-3 Fatty Acids


Background: Obesity is a major health concern in the United States. Omega-3 fatty acids (O3FA) have been observed to improve metabolic health and therefore might be useful in treatment of obesity. However, little is known regarding the effect of O3FA on school aged normal weight and overweight children.

Objective: The objective of this thesis was to determine if habitual intake of O3FA at breakfast improves energy metabolism, appetite, and metabolic response in overweight and obese school-aged children.

Design: Twenty healthy, normal weight (NW; n = 11) and overweight (OW; n = 9) children aged 8-12 years were randomly assigned to receive either a vegetable oil based (Control) breakfast drink or a O3FA based breakfast based drink to observe postprandial effects of each treatment. Anthropometrics, appetite, resting energy expenditure (REE), substrate oxidation, and food intake were evaluated for each treatment.

Results: Body weight (P < 0.001), and BMI percentile (P < 0.001) were higher in the OW group. Fat mass and free fat mass were higher in the OW group (P < 0.001) and (P < 0.05), respectively. There was an effect of breakfast type (P < 0.05) on carbohydrate oxidation after O3FA consumption. There was an effect of time and body weight on hunger (P < 0.001). There was also an effect of breakfast over time on feelings of fullness (P < 0.05). There was no difference in leptin or adiponectin in response to breakfast. There was no statistical significance of total food (kcal) intake in Control or O3FA

Conclusion: Taken together, these data suggest that increasing O3FA in the diets of school-aged children may have beneficial effects on EE, satiety, and metabolic responses throughout the day.