Eggs: Lunchtime Energy Intake In Children And Adolescents

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I. Introduction
A. Eggs are widely known as a functional food because they are high in protein, modest in calories, low in cost and can be used versatilely in many different types of dishes1. They represent a complete food, meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for dietary needs2. Egg composition may vary slightly, but on average the macronutrient content of one egg is low in carbohydrates and high in proteins and lipids2. High protein foods, like eggs, have been known to have a high satiety effect and be long term appetite suppresants4. Appetite is defined as a strong desire to satisfy a bodily need. The regulation of appetite is a combination of peripheral signals with the central nervous system, mainly the hypothalamus1.
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The purpose of this study was to assess the effects that an egg breakfast has on lunchtime energy intake in 13 children and 15 adolescents6. This study consisted of two randomized crossover trials. The children and adolescents were separated into two separate trials. The children (aged 4-6) were chosen from a local preschool. The adolescents (aged 14-17) were recruited from the Baton Rouge area. In both studies, the participants had to be free of chronic disease and have no known allergies to eggs, wheat, dairy or soy. In both studies, the participants were randomly assigned to which breakfast they received. Both groups were closely monitored to ensure that they ate all the given food. The egg breakfast and bagel breakfast were both matched for total calories and energy density. Protein calories from the bagel were 13% and protein calories from the egg were 20%. The three components the researchers focused on included food intake, visual analog scale ratings and appetite hormones. There was no significant difference in lunch food intake after eating either the bagel or egg breakfast among either trial. The visual analog scale ratings showed no difference for hunger, satiety, fullness and prospective food intake. Finally, there was a difference seen in the appetite hormones response. PYY, which helps to suppress appetite, increased by 50% for those who consumed the egg breakfast. PYY only increased by 20% after the bagel breakfast. PYY was the only factor that was …show more content…
The effects that eggs and other high protein sources have on appetite is very promising. Eggs are a very nutrient dense food8. They provide all essential vitamins and minerals for 70 calories per egg. In regards to protein, eggs have 6 grams. The egg white is where a majority, 60%, of the egg’s protein is located. While most of the vitamins and minerals are in the yolk. All parts of the egg are beneficial in making it a complete functional food. Studies were once published denoting eggs as a functional food8. These studies claimed that eggs were high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which could lead to higher risks of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Many of these studies have since been denounced as it was determined that eggs were not the deciding factor in developing these risk factors8. Another risk of consuming eggs could be that they are prone to foodborne disease, like salmonella, if not prepared and packaged properly. However, the rewards of eggs far outweigh the risks. Eggs have many health promoting properties which include being preventative in nature to chronic disease and providing therapeutic effects2. They also offer high numbers of vitamins and minerals with little calories. A few of these vitamins, Vitamin D and K are beneficial for bone health and preventing fractures. Finally, eggs are also low in cost, which makes them a feasible food to purchase. These four studies all focused on the effect eggs have on appetite, but used different populations.

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